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On May 9, the DGCA had formed a three-member team to investigate the incident where a special child with reduced mobility was barred from boarding at Ranchi airport.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has fined domestic carrier IndiGo airlines Rs 5 lakh for denying boarding to a specially abled child at Jharkhand’s Ranchi Airport.
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The incident took place on May 7, when an IndiGo official stopped a specially abled child to board a flight at Ranchi Airport. As per reports, the IndiGo manager allegedly said that the child was visibly in panic and therefore a flight risk. As the child was barred from boarding, his family to stayed back and the flight departed for Hyderabad.
The DGCA had launched an investigation into the incident under a three-member committee. Based on its findings, the DGCA issued a show-cause notice to IndiGo. After a personal hearing, IndiGo was allowed to present written submissions.
After following the due process, the DGCA ruled that the handling of the specially abled child by the Indigo staff was deficient, and it ended up exacerbating the situation. A more compassionate response in handling would have helped to calm the child and the extreme step to deny boarding the passengers could have been avoided.
Special situations call for extraordinary responses, but in this case, the IndiGo Airlines staff completely failed to rise up to the occasion, the DGCA said.
"In view of this, the Competent Authority in DGCA has decided to impose a penalty of Rs Five Lakhs on the airline under the provisions of the relevant Aircraft Rules," the DGCA said in its official statement.
The aviation regulator has also said that it will revisit the regulations and bring about necessary changes to avoid similar situations in the future. The DGCA will mandate written consultation with the airport doctor on the state of health of the passenger as well as with the commander of the aircraft for their opinion in such cases to assess whether such passengers should be allowed on board.
The DGCA has also suggested that airlines should revisit their standard operating procedures (SOPs) and training processes to handle such cases and to bring a more humane touch.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)