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Child Boarding Incident: Passengers handled “inappropriately” by indigo staff at ranchi airport, says DGCA report

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: In Embarrassing incident happened in Indigo flight that specially-abled child denied to board at Ranchi airport. DGCA admits fault of IndiGo staff for stopping disabled child from boarding aircraft, sent show cause notice.

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo has been served a show-cause notice by aviation regulator DGCA for handling a special needs child, which sparked a huge backlash earlier this month. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, which was probing the incident at the Ranchi airport, said IndiGo handled passengers “improperly”.

“The findings of the committee prima facie indicate inappropriate handling of passengers by the Indigo staff thereby resulting in certain non-conformances with the applicable regulations,” the DGCA report mentioned.

The DGCA had constituted a three-member team for a fact-finding probe into the incident. Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had also taken cognisance of the matter and said that he would personally look into it.

“It has been decided to issue a showcause notice to the airline through its authorised representative to explain as to why suitable enforcement action should not be taken against them for the non-conformances,” it said.

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The aviation regulator has asked IndiGo to submit written submissions within 10 days. The DGCA said appropriate action would be taken after that.

“To meet the ends of justice, the airline has been provided an opportunity for personal hearing as well as for making written submissions in next ten days from today i.e. till May 26, 2022. After hearing their submissions, appropriate action as per law would be taken,” it added.

Earlier this month, the child with special needs was barred from boarding the IndiGo flight as the carrier’s staff said he was in a “state of panic” and could be a “risk to other passengers”.

Manisha Gupta, the founder and director of a consultancy called Start Up India, narrated the whole incident in social media that was widely circulated.

She shared the plight of how the young passenger with special needs was not allowed to board the flight despite constant objections by fellow passengers “who held up their mobile phones with news articles, and Twitter posts on Supreme Court judgements on how no airline could discriminate against passengers with disabilities”.

Also Read :- Mumbai-bound Indigo flight delayed by 6 hours after passenger raises alarm over 'Suspicious' text message

A delegation of doctors taking the same flight assured to provide full support in case of any health episode mid-air. However, it failed to cut ice with the IndiGo staff.

As the boy was prohibited from boarding the airline’s Ranchi-Hyderabad flight on Saturday, his parents also decided to not enter the plane.

Following the incident, the aviation regulator, DGCA, stepped in and initiated a probe against the airline.

IndiGo later expressed regret over the incident and in a statement, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta said the staff “made the best possible decision under difficult circumstances”. Dutta also offered to buy an electric wheelchair for the boy as a “small token of our appreciation” for the lifelong dedication of his parents in taking care of a disabled person.

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