Air India fined Rs 30 lakh over death of 80-year-old flyer who wasn’t given wheelchair

Feb29,2024



Mumbai: Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has imposed a fee Good at Rs 30 lakh Air India Recently an 80-year-old passenger died who chose to walk from the plane to the terminal building because the airline lacked wheel chairs.
Following a report in TOI on February 16, the regulator issued a show cause notice to the airline for not complying with the provisions of “Car Section 3, Series 'M', Part I “Travel by air – accompanying persons” “Persons with disability (Divyangjan) and/or reduced mobility” which is in violation of the Aircraft Rules, 1937.

Air India submitted its reply to the notice on 20 February. The airline said the elderly passenger wanted to accompany his wife who was also on the plane. wheelchair Also, instead of waiting for another wheelchair.

“However, the airline failed to show compliance with CAR as the airline did not provide any wheelchair to the elderly passenger. Further, Air India has not informed about any action taken by the airline against the erring employee(s). and also did not inform the airline. “Failed to submit any corrective steps taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future,” the DGCA said in a press statement. It added, “Accordingly “A financial penalty of Rs 30 lakh has been imposed on Air India as per the Aircraft Rules, 1937 for violating the provisions of the above CAR.”
An advisory has also been issued to all airlines to ensure that adequate number of wheelchairs are available for passengers who require assistance while boarding or deboarding the aircraft during their journey.
On February 12, an 80-year-old American citizen of Indian origin came to Mumbai from New York on an Air India flight with his wife. Both of them had booked for wheelchair facility, but only one was brought for the couple due to lack of wheelchair. The senior citizen was asked to wait for another wheelchair. But he chose to walk with his wife who used a wheelchair. He collapsed after walking the long distance to the terminal and died at the airport immigration counter.
On 20 February, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) took suo motu cognizance of the passenger's death. NHRC has issued a notice to DGCA and sought a report within four weeks.



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