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Air India gets notice after 80-year-old flyer dies

Published:

NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (

DGCA

) on Friday issued a

show cause notice

to

Air India

in connection with the incident where an 80-year-old man passed away after he walked to the terminal due to lack of

wheelchair assistance

at airport.
The DGCA in its notice stated that the airline did not comply with the provisions of the said CAR in violation of

Aircraft Rules

, 1937.

Air India has been asked to respond to the notice within seven days.

“DGCA has issued Car section 3, series ‘M’, part I on “carriage by Air – Persons with Disability (Divyangjan) and/or Persons with Reduced Mobility”. As per the Para 4.1.7 of the CAR, airlines are mandatorily required to provide assistance to persons with disability or reduced mobility’s particular needs and ensure their seamless travel from the departure terminal of the departing airport upto the aircraft and at the end of the journey from the aircraft to the arrival terminal exit,” the notice said.

“Further, 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 80-year old man who flew in with his wife, both of them booked as wheelchair passengers on an Air India flight from New York, collapsed at Mumbai airport immigration counter and passed away onMonday.

The deceased was an Indian-origin, US-passport holder. They had pre-booked Air India’s wheelchair facility. The Gujarati couple was booked in economy class of Mumbai-bound Air India flight AI-116 that left New York on Sunday afternoon. The flight landed in Mumbai at 2.10pm on Monday.
“There were 32 wheelchair passengers on this flight, butonly 15 wheelchairs with accompanying staff on ground waiting on ground to help them,” said an airport source requestinganonymity.
An Air India spokesperson clarified: “Due to heavy demand for wheelchairs, we had requested the passenger to wait till he was also provided with wheelchair assistance but he opted to walk along with his spouse.”
Calling it “an unfortunate incident”, Air India said that it was “in constant touch with the family members of the bereaved, extending necessary assistance”.

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