DGCA fines Air India ₹30 lakh over lack of wheelchairs after 80-year-old's death | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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DGCA fines Air India 30 lakh over lack of wheelchairs after 80-year-old's death

Feb 29, 2024 03:24 PM IST

On February 12, an 80-year-old Air India passenger died at Mumbai airport as he suffered a heart attack after walking 1.5 km due unavailability of a wheelchair.

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday imposed a fine of Rs.30 lakh on Air India for “not having adequate number of wheelchairs” at Mumbai airport due to which an elderly passenger died earlier this month, officials said.

The civil aviation regulator has also issued an advisory to all the airlines (Representative Photo)
The civil aviation regulator has also issued an advisory to all the airlines (Representative Photo)

“A financial penalty of Rs.30 lakh has been imposed on Air India as per Aircraft Rules, 1937 for violating the provisions of the aforementioned CAR [civil aviation requirements],” a statement issued by the DGCA read.

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“An advisory has also been issued to all airlines to ensure that an adequate number of wheelchairs are available for passengers who require assistance during embarking or disembarking from the aircraft during their journey,” it added.

An official statement from Air India is awaited.

The civil aviation regulator has also issued an advisory to all the airlines asking them to keep adequate wheelchairs available for passengers at airports.

On February 12, an 80-year-old passenger, who arrived on an Air India flight from New York with his wife, died after collapsing at Mumbai airport as he suffered a heart attack after allegedly walking 1.5 km due unavailability of a wheelchair.

The DGCA had then issued a show cause notice to Air India for not complying with the provisions of the CAR SECTION 3, SERIES ‘M’, PART I on “Carriage by Air - Persons with Disability (Divyangjan) and/or Persons with Reduced Mobility” which is a violation of Aircraft Rules, 1937.

The airline, DGCA said, submitted its response on February 20 informing that the elderly passenger wished to walk along with his wife who was in a wheelchair too, rather than wait for another wheelchair.

“However, the airline failed to show compliance with the CAR as the airline did not provide any wheelchair to the elderly passenger,” the regulator said.

The DGCA said that Air India did not inform about any action taken by the airline against the erring employee(s).

“The airline also failed to submit any corrective actions taken to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future,” the regulator stated.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    I am a principal correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. I track the aviation and railways ministry. I also write on travel trends. I cover the beats at the national level for the newspaper. Before being in Delhi, I have worked as a journalist in Mumbai as well. My hobbies include trekking and travelling.

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