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    After clipping wings, DGCA asks Kerala transgender pilot to reapply for medical test for commercial flying licence

    After clipping wings, DGCA asks Kerala transgender pilot to reapply for medical test for commercial flying licence

    After clipping wings, DGCA asks Kerala transgender pilot to reapply for medical  test for commercial flying licence
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Updated)

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    Two years ago, Harry Adam, a transman from Kerala, was told that the hormone therapy he was then undergoing for gender transition rendered him “unfit” to fly

    After his application was controversially rejected, transgender trainee pilot Harry Adam has been asked by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to submit a new application for medical assessment to get a commercial pilot licence.
    Two years ago, Harry Adam, a transman from Kerala, was told that the hormone therapy he was then on for gender transition rendered him “unfit” to fly.
    On Thursday, the DGCA said reports that the regulator denied a commercial pilot licence to Adam were untrue.
    “There are no restrictions on transgender people to obtain pilot licence and ratings,” DGCA said, adding that it was subject to the individual qualifying in all relevant provisions and medical test.
    What the DGCA said
    Transgender people can get a commercial pilot licence if they are not associated with any medical, psychiatric, or psychological conditions, the aviation regulator said.
    As long as the applicant has no adverse symptoms or reactions to the hormonal replacement therapy, he can’t be disqualified.
    However, pilots are not assigned flying duties while the dose of hormonal treatment is being stabilised or till the adequate physiological response to the dose has been achieved and it no longer needs to be changed, news agency PTI reported.
    The DGCA has asked Adam to apply for a name change from his earlier name Aisha TS to Harry Adam and register on eGCA website under the category 'transgender'. He can then apply for a fresh medical test using eGCA website, it said.
    Support from others
    The DGCA’s move comes after the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment sent a scathing letter to the aviation regulator on Monday, calling its decision to deny a transgender person a commercial pilot licence “discriminatory”. The letter said the move violated the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.
    Calling for fresh guidelines for licencing of transgender persons, the ministry asked the DGCA to develop medical standards for such applicants when they are under gender-affirming hormone therapy, The Hindu reported.
    Harry Adam’s story
    Adam holds a private-pilot licence from South Africa. Under the Kerala government’s welfare fund for transgender people, Adam got admission to the Rajiv Gandhi Academy for Aviation Technology in Thiruvananthapuram in January 2020. In August 2020, he stopped his hormone therapy to clear his medical assessment for a commercial pilot licence that will help him fly as a pilot and get paid for work. A private-pilot licence holder can only fly an aeroplane as a hobbyist.
    However, on January 3, 2020, the DGCA blocked his request on grounds of “gender dysphoria”, labelling him as “temporarily unfit”, Hindustan Times reported.
    Long fight
    In 2016, Adam had joined Skyhawk Aviation in South Africa to gain a commercial pilot licence. However, he had to discontinue his course as his parents stopped supporting him financially once he revealed his gender identity on social media. In 2017, when he returned to Kerala after getting a private-pilot licence, Adam was locked up in his house by his family for a year and forced to take up conversion therapy that they believed would ‘cure’ his gender orientation, The Times of India reported. He escaped from there and took up odd jobs to survive, working for some time as a Zomato delivery boy, a Times Now report said.
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