DGCA's CAR

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA 

OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF CIVIL AVIATION 

TECHNICAL CENTRE, OPP SAFDURJUNG AIRPORT, NEW DELHI 

CIVIL AVIATION REQUIREMENTS  

SECTION 3 – AIR TRANSPORT  

SERIES ‘M’ PART I 

ISSUE III, 28th February 2014 (Rev. 6, dated 9th July, 2021) EFFECTIVE: FORTHWITH

F. No.: 23-05/2010-AED 

Subject: Carriage by Air - Persons with Disability and/or Persons with Reduced Mobility. 

1. INTRODUCTION 

1.1 Air transportation today has become easier than ever. The Government policies on ‘Open Sky’ allowed the growth of airlines and also non-scheduled operators in the country. The new ideas of Low Cost and no frill concept have also brought the common man with average income group to travel by air. 

1.2 Whereas persons with disabilities and reduced mobility, like everyone else, are  increasingly given the opportunity to travel by air, there is a need to standardize  the conditions for travel of such persons so as to facilitate their acceptance and  handling of their carriage by the airlines, airport operators, ground handling  agencies, etc. 

1.3 This CAR lays down regulations for carriage of persons with disabilities and reduced mobility by air in order to protect them against any form of discrimination and to ensure that they receive all possible assistance during their travel. 

1.4 This CAR is issued under the provisions of Section 5(2)(ab) of Aircraft Act 1934, Rule 133 A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 and Ministry of Civil Aviation letter No. AV.13030/72/2012-DT dated 6th March, 2013 for information, guidance and compliance by the concerned agencies. 

1.5 No requirement of this CAR shall have overriding effect on any of the provisions of “Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full  Participation) Act, 1995” and the Rules issued by Ministry of Social Justice and  Empowerment, Government of India under the provisions of the said Act.

2. APPLICABILITY 

The provisions contained in this CAR shall be applicable to the following: 

a) All Indian operators engaged in scheduled and non-scheduled air transport  services both domestic and international for carriage of passengers. 

b) All foreign carriers engaged in scheduled air transport operating to and from Indian Territory. 

c) All airport operators within Indian Territory. 

3. DEFINITIONS:

3.1 Person with disability means any individual who has a physical or mental  impairment that, on a permanent or temporary basis, substantially limits one or  more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as  having such impairment. 

Note: (a) Physical or mental impairment means: 

(1) any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or  anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body  systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs,  respiratory including speech organs, cardio-vascular, reproductive,  digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine;  or 

(2) any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation,  organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific  learning disabilities. 

The term physical or mental impairment includes, but is not limited to,  such diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing  impairments; cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple  sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional  illness, autism, drug addiction, alcoholism and geriatric disabilities. 

(b) Major life activities means functions such as caring for one’s self,  performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing,  learning and working. 

(c) Has a record of such impairment means has a history of, or has been  classified, or misclassified, as having a mental or physical impairment  that substantially limits one or more major life activities. 

3.2 A person with reduced mobility (PRM) means any person whose mobility  when using transport is reduced due to any physical disability (sensory or  locomotor; permanent or temporary), intellectual disability or impairment, or any  other cause of disability, or age, and whose situation needs appropriate attention and the adaptation to his or her particular needs of the service made  available to all passengers. 

4. REQUIREMENTS 

4.1 Airline Specific 

4.1.1 No airline shall refuse to carry persons with disability or reduced mobility and  their assistive aids/devices, escorts and guide dogs including their presence in  the cabin, provided such persons or their representatives, at the time of booking, inform the airline of their requirement(s). The airlines shall incorporate  appropriate provisions on their website within three months from the date of  issue of this CAR, so that while making bookings, passengers with disability  have the option to select the required facilities, which he/she will require during  the journey. 

4.1.2 Airlines including their agents shall make available in accessible format, on their  website, the safety rules that apply to the carriage of persons with disability or  reduced mobility as well as any restrictions on their carriage or on the mobility  equipment due to the size of aircraft. 

4.1.3 Airlines including their travel agents shall not discriminate the persons with  disability or reduced mobility in providing access for internet ticketing,  special/discounted fares, time limit for holding the bookings, reservations on  telephone, etc. 

4.1.4 To facilitate the carriage of persons with disability or reduced mobility, airlines  shall obtain necessary information about the specific requirements of such  persons at the time of ticketing/online booking process or through the call  centers. Once the ticket is confirmed no further enquires shall be made. 

4.1.5 It shall be the responsibility of the persons with disability or reduced mobility to  notify their needs at least 48 hours before the scheduled time of departure so  that the airline makes necessary arrangements, which may include but not  limited to the following: 

a) nature and level of special assistance required while embarking,  disembarking and during in-flight; 

b) mobility equipment and assistive devices that need to be carried by the  airline either in cabin and/or aircraft hold; 

c) requirement of escort. 

Note1: The above is not an exhaustive list. During the process of booking, the  airlines should gather all the relevant information without requiring the  passenger to provide additional information later. 

Note2: Although advance information of 48 hrs. or prior will enable airlines to  plan and ensure hassle free carriage of persons with disability or reduced  mobility, for cases of emergency travel of persons with disability or reduced mobility, airlines shall make all reasonable efforts to provide best possible  assistance. 

4.1.6 No airline shall refuse to engage in interline transactions for carriage of persons  with disability or reduced mobility. However, such carriage shall be governed by the applicable provisions of the interline carrier/state. 

Note: This requirement does not require airlines to create interline agreements  solely for this purpose. 

4.1.7 Once persons with disability or reduced mobility report at the airport with valid  booking and intention to travel, the airline shall provide assistance to meet their  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, without any additional expenses. 

4.1.8 Passengers who intend to check-in with their own wheelchair shall be given the  option of using a station/airport wheelchair. If the passengers prefer to use their  own wheelchair, they shall be permitted to use it provided the wheelchair  conforms to specifications as laid down by Disabled Persons Transport Advisory  Committee (DPTAC), UK. Such wheelchair shall be capable of manoeuvring  through various areas of the airport, security hold and up to the aircraft, whereupon it may be stowed at an appropriate place in the aircraft. At the time of disembarking, the passenger’s wheelchair should be returned to enable  transfer from the seat directly into his/her own wheelchair. 

Note1: In the event a passenger’s wheelchair is damaged, temporary  substitute shall be provided. 

Note2: Although the basic responsibility for providing wheelchairs in the  terminal building is that of the airport operator, the airlines may provide  extra wheelchairs for the convenience of their passengers in the  terminal building. 

Note3: Acceptance of automated wheelchairs/assistive devices using batteries shall be subject to the application of relevant regulations concerning  dangerous goods. 

4.1.9 For embarkation/disembarkation and in-flight use, the wide-body aircraft that  have more than one aisle, shall have an on-board wheel chair. The wheel chair  shall be designed to be compatible with the maneuvering space, aisle width,  and seat height of the aircraft on which it is to be used. 

4.1.10 No airline shall refuse to carry passengers in a stretcher or incubator, subject  to limitation of aircraft, when they are accompanied by an escort, provided such a person is capable of attending to the passenger’s medical needs during  embarking, disembarking, in-flight and emergency evacuation subject to  conditions in Para(s) 4.1.11, 4.1.26 and 4.1.27.

4.1.11 Upon advance request, and with charge(s) as applicable, airlines shall make  provisions for carriage of stretchers and associated equipment for passengers  who cannot use the standard airline seat in a sitting/reclining position for the  class of service desired. Such a request shall be made at least 48 hours prior  to the scheduled departure of the flight. Airlines shall develop a procedure for  making advance request of stretcher and the same should be displayed on  airline’s website. 

4.1.12 To ensure safety of aircraft operations, the maximum number of non ambulatory persons with disability or reduced mobility permitted to travel in a  single flight shall not be more than the number of cabin crew except when such  passengers are accompanied by trained escorts. 

Note: Emergency evacuation requirements states that it must be conducted  with exterior ambient light levels of no greater than 0.3 foot-candles prior to the activation of the airplane emergency lighting system. The source(s) of the initial exterior ambient light level may remain active or illuminated during the actual demonstration. There must, however, be no increase in the exterior ambient  light level except for that due to activation of the airplane emergency lighting  system. 

A representative passenger load of persons in normal health must be used as  follows: 

a) At least 40 percent of the passenger load must be female. 

b) At least 35 percent of the passenger load must be over 50 years of age.

c)  At least 15 percent of the passenger load must be female and over 50 years of age. 

d) Three life-size dolls, not included as part of the total passenger load, must  be carried by passengers to simulate live infants 2 years old or younger.

e) Crewmembers, maintenance engineers, and training personnel, who maintain or operate the airplane in the normal course of their duties, may  not be used as passengers. 

The emergency evacuation under the above conditions shall be completed  within 90 seconds. 

4.1.13 Airlines shall provide convenient seats that are designated as accessible for  persons with disabilities with adequate leg space free of charge, which should  remain blocked until close to the time of departure. Airlines shall not allocate those seats to persons with disability or reduced mobility where their presence would impede the crew in performing their duties, obstruct access to emergency equipment or impede the emergency evacuation path of the aircraft. 

4.1.14 Where a person with disability or reduced mobility is assisted by an escort, the  airline shall make all reasonable efforts to give such a person seat next to the  persons with disability or reduced mobility.

4.1.15 If passengers for any reason have to be offloaded, highest possible priority for  transportation shall be given to persons with disability or reduced mobility,  including their escorts, if any. 

4.1.16 Airlines shall develop procedures for carriage of guide dogs, if required in cabin, for the assistance of persons with disability or reduced mobility. The guide dogs may be permitted in the cabin subject to the condition that they are  properly trained, remain on floor at the passenger’s feet, properly harnessed  and vaccinated. Passengers carrying guide dogs shall be required to produce  a written proof to the airlines that their guide dog has been trained from  appropriate institution, vaccinated and medicated. 

4.1.17 Airlines should develop emergency evacuation procedures and handling of  persons with disability or reduced mobility and include the same in their Safety  and Emergency Procedures (SEP) Manual. 

4.1.18 The presence of all categories of persons with disability or reduced mobility  along with their escorts, if any, and any special arrangements made/required  for them while on board, shall always be referred to the captain/cabin crew in charge. 

4.1.19 It shall be the responsibility of the cabin crew in-charge to ensure briefing to  persons with disability or reduced mobility including their escorts, if any, before  take-off on the emergency procedures, cabin layout and specialized  equipment on board the aircraft to cater for their needs. Blind passengers shall  be briefed verbally. Braille brochures may be provided as a back-up of such  briefing. Instructions in large print may also be made available for persons with  low vision. 

4.1.20 Airlines should provide safety briefing and procedure for emergency evacuation in respect of person with disability or reduced mobility in any of the form of passenger briefing card, individualized verbal briefing, video display (in aircraft  with In-flight Entertainment System), etc. 

4.1.21 When overnight accommodation is offered by the airline during in-transit off loading due to unforeseen circumstances, persons with disability or reduced  mobility shall be allocated accommodation suitable to their needs as far as  practicable. 

4.1.22 Airlines shall ensure that persons with disability or reduced mobility are  boarded separately (normally prior to all other passengers) as well as  disembarked separately (normally after all other passengers have left the  cabin) in order to facilitate the procedure of embarkation and disembarkation  and to provide the necessary assistance to them. 

4.1.23 Airlines shall make suitable arrangements for assisting persons with disability or reduced mobility for their quick clearance and baggage delivery. For the  purpose of this paragraph, their checked-in baggage should be given  “Assistive Device” tags with tag number bearing sign of assistive device to  ensure early identification and delivery of the same at ladder point or at the  convenient point after exit. 

4.1.24 Airlines should do their utmost to ascertain that any such special equipment  of persons with disability or reduced mobility is properly identified and tagged,  and is always transported with the passenger concerned in the same aircraft. 

Note: Airlines should allow carriage of assistive devices free of charge as  additional baggage subject to the limitation of the aircraft. 

4.1.25 Airlines shall not insist on medical certificate or special forms from persons  with disability or reduced mobility who wish to travel without an escort and only  require special assistance at an airport for embarking/disembarking and a  reasonable accommodation in flight. 

4.1.26 Airlines may require medical certificate only when they have received  information that the passenger: 

a) suffers from any disease, which is believed to be actively contagious and  communicable; 

b) who, because of certain diseases, or incapacitation may have or develop  an adverse physical condition which could have an adverse effect during  flight and on safety and emergency evacuation procedures; 

c) would require medical attention and/or special equipment to maintain their  health during the flights; 

d) there exists a possibility of medical condition aggravated during or  because of the flight; 

e) would be travelling in a stretcher or incubator; 

f) needs medical oxygen during the flight. 

Note: Persons with disability or reduced mobility should keep all the required  forms for assistance ready in advance, to avoid flight delays. Such Forms and  information shall be made available by airlines on their website. 

4.1.27 Passengers having any of the conditions mentioned in Para 4.1.26 (a) through  (f) shall produce medical certificate from a qualified registered medical doctor  stating that: 

a) the passenger is capable of completing the flight journey safely without  requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight; 

b) disease or infection would not under the present condition be  communicable to other passengers during the normal course of flight  journey; 

c) precautions that would have to be observed to prevent the transmission  of disease or infection to other persons in the normal course of flight  journey;

4.1.28 In case the passenger has a connecting flight with another airline, the medical  certificate shall be accepted by the first airline at the first point of check-in and  the information transmitted to the connecting airline so that the passenger is  not required to furnish the same again. 

4.1.29 Airlines may seek information from persons with disability or reduced mobility  in the IATA Medical Information Form (MEDIF) or Incapacitated Passengers  Handling Advice (INCAD) at the time of booking, which will be used for the  purpose of providing them special assistance and/or medical clearance  thereby ensuring their smooth travel. 

Note: MEDIF and INCAD are standard forms used by many airlines to  organize any assistance or equipment required by the persons with disability  or reduced mobility during travel and to decide whether they are fit to fly. The  INCAD is typically completed by the passenger or his/her representative and  the MEDIF is completed by the doctor. Both the MEDIF and INCAD forms are  valid for one journey (origin to destination). 

4.1.30 Airlines may also issue IATA Medical Manual prescribed Frequent Travelers Medical Card (FREMEC) to those passengers with chronic, but stable medical  conditions, and those with additional needs, for their future travel. FREMEC  issued by airline shall be accepted by the other airlines also to avoid necessity  of obtaining medical clearance for each journey and determines the  passenger‘s special handling requirements. 

4.1.31 Airlines shall keep a record of FREMEC of persons with disability or reduced  mobility in their reservations system for easy reference and their future travel. 

4.1.32 Airlines shall ensure that all the medical information collected from persons  with disability or reduced mobility in this manner is kept strictly confidential. 

4.1.33 In case of change of aircraft type with the same or another airline, airlines shall  endeavour to provide similar facilities to persons with disability or reduced  mobility, subject to compliance of regulatory provisions. 

4.1.34 Airlines shall ensure that aircraft coming newly into service or after major  refurbishment shall be fitted with special equipment to cater for the needs of  persons with disability or reduced mobility commensurate with the size of  aircraft. 

4.1.35 Before refusing carriage to any person on the basis of disability, the airline shall specify in writing the basis of such refusal indicating its opinion that  transportation of such persons would or might be inimical to the safety of flight. 

4.2 Airport Operator Specific 

4.2.1 Airport operator shall display signages throughout the airport including terminal  building in a clear and unambiguous manner as per international standards.  The points of arrival and departure shall be clearly indicated with basic  information about airport in accessible format.

4.2.2 Signages for all spaces in the terminal building reserved for persons with  disability or reduced mobility should be clearly indicated to discourage the use  by other passengers. 

4.2.3 Airport operator shall endeavour to ensure that parking spaces are reserved  and located in the close proximity to the terminal building for persons with  disability or reduced mobility. 

4.2.4 Airport operator shall provide ramps at least at the main entrance/exit to the  terminal building for easy access by persons with disability or reduced mobility. 

4.2.5 Airport operator shall ensure that all points of access open to the public are  accessible to persons with disability or reduced mobility. 

Airport operator shall ensure that all points of access open to the public are  accessible to persons with disability or reduced mobility. A provision of  helpdesk to be made which will provide all necessary information to assist a  disabled passenger. 

4.2.6 All areas and services in the terminal building that are open to the public shall  be accessible to persons with disability or reduced mobility. 4.2.7 All equipment provided for use by general public such as telephones, internet  service, etc. should also be accessible to persons with disability or reduced  mobility including those with sensory impairments. 

4.2.8 Flight information system should be positioned in such a way to ensure its  readability by people in wheelchair and those with visual impairment. Provision  of audible announcements should be made for people who are not able to use  visual displays such as blind and with learning disability. 

4.2.9 Airport operator shall ensure that persons with disability or reduced mobility  are transported within the airport in the same condition, comfort and safety as  those available for other passengers. The airport operator should ensure that  the assistive devices being used to assist a disabled passenger are as per the  standards set by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Effectivity of  the provision for standardization of such equipment will be from 01 Oct 2016. 

4.2.10 The airport operator shall ensure that the facilities at the airport are accessible  to persons with disability or reduced mobility during their transit through the  airport. 

4.2.11 Airport operator shall provide ambulance facility for the passenger on arrival  and departure at the airport upon advance request by the  passenger/representative/airline. 

4.2.12 Airport operator shall make appropriate provision for ambulift at the airport to  enable persons with disability or reduced mobility to embark/disembark the aircraft without inconvenience. Such provision may be made in coordination  with Ground Handling Agencies (GHAs), if required. Airport where ambulift or  aerobridge facility is not available, provision of towable ramp should be made.  Effectivity of the provision for standardization of such equipment will be from  01 Oct 2016. 

Note: Though the existing practice and responsibility of providing ambulifts  may vary at various airports, it will rest with the airport operator, who must  ensure compliance in coordination with the airlines, GHAs, etc. 

4.2.13 Any charge that airport operator levy the same should be displayed in  conspicuous manner on their respective website and terminal building

4.3 Training Requirements 

4.3.1 All airlines, airport operators, security, customs, and immigration bureau  organizations at airport shall conduct training program, as per the training  module provided by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, for all  personnel engaged in passenger services for sensitization and developing  awareness for assisting persons with disability or reduced mobility and to  ensure that they are well briefed about their responsibilities. Effectivity of the  provision for standardization of such equipment will be from 01 Oct 2016. 

4.3.2 The contents and duration of the training program shall be in accordance with  the guidelines issued by the Department of Disability Affairs, Ministry of Social  Justice & Empowerment. 

Note: The training may include but not limited to the following: 

a) Barriers faced by persons with disability or reduced mobility, including  attitude, environment and organisation, and suggestions for removing such  barriers. 

b) Information on the range of disabilities, including hidden or less visible  disabilities. 

c) Skills needed for assisting persons with disability or reduced mobility. d) Communication and interpersonal skills for interacting with persons with   disability or reduced mobility. 

e) Health and safety information. 

f) General awareness about relevant regulations. 

4.3.3 The operators shall ensure that all its employees are imparted disability-related  basic training and refresher training at appropriate interval. 

Note: Disability related training provides practical overview and is relevant in  particular to those providing assistance to persons with disability or reduced  mobility. It increases understanding of the whole range of impairments so that  personnel are aware of how to interact with persons with disability or reduced  mobility and to tackle negative perceptions and attitudes towards such  passengers.

4.3.4 In addition to basic training, operators should provide specific training for  personnel who may be required to provide direct assistance to persons with  disability and/or persons with reduced mobility. 

4.3.5 Operators shall ensure that adequate training is provided to all its service  providers, ground handling agencies and sub-contractors responsible for  providing assistance services. 

4.3.6 It shall be the responsibility of airport operator to ensure that security staff  positioned at airport undergoes disability-related training. 

4.3.7 Airlines shall ensure that cabin crew safety and emergency procedures training  is combined with disability awareness training for assisting persons with  disability or reduced mobility in the cabin environment. 

4.4 General Requirement

4.4.1 Operators shall formulate a detailed procedure for carriage of persons with  disability or reduced mobility and publish the same on their website. Operators  including the travel agents shall ensure that web content conforms to the Web  Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) so as to make it more accessible to  persons with disabilities. Operators shall display disability policy and guidance  for persons with disability or reduced mobility on the main page of their website. 

4.4.2 Operator shall develop in-house document on handling persons with disability  or reduced mobility, which should be used for strict compliance by all  employees. Such a document and the proof of its compliance shall be made  available to DGCA and other enforcement agencies. Such document/manual  should be readily available for reference of all personnel required in handling  such persons. 

4.4.3 Operator shall document their responsibility with regard to the travel of persons  with disability or reduced mobility, and make it available on their website. 

4.4.4 All assistive devices shall be provided without any extra cost to the persons with disability or reduced mobility within India. 

4.4.5 Operators, both the airlines and airport, shall ensure availability of low floor  accessible buses at the airports to enable easy boarding and alighting of  passengers. 

4.4.6 In case of transfer between airlines and terminals, the airlines and airport  operators shall ensure smooth and hassle free transportation of persons with  disability or reduced mobility. 

4.4.7 Persons with disability or reduced mobility requiring special assistance or  protection from disturbance, including their escorts, shall be permitted to stay on board during transit stops, if they so desire, subject to the observance of  applicable safety and security norms. 

4.4.8 Where wheelchairs or other mobility equipment or assistive devices are lost or  damaged whilst being handled at the airport or transported on board aircraft,  the passenger to whom the equipment belongs shall be compensated by the  airline/airport operator/GHA/organisation responsible for such loss or damage. 

4.4.9 As a part of Annual Surveillance Programme (ASP), DGCA shall conduct  surveillance of the operators to ensure compliance of the CAR. 

4.5 Passenger Grievance Redressal 

4.5.1 A person with disability or reduced mobility, who considers that provisions of  this CAR have been infringed, may bring the matter to the attention of the  airlines, airport operator, as the case may be. 

4.5.2 The operator shall ensure speedy and proper redressal of these complaints. 

4.5.3 Operator shall appoint a Nodal officer and Appellate Authority to settle the  grievances in a stipulated time frame. In this regard, the operators shall  conspicuously display the details of Nodal Officer and Appellate Authority on  their respective website. 

4.5.4 The internal grievance mechanism of operators shall be transparent with a  provision of online complaint handling. All complaints registered shall be issued a unique reference number. 

4.5.5 If the concerned operator fails to fulfill their obligations, the person with disability or reduced mobility may complain to the statutory authorities set up under relevant applicable laws such as Chief Commissioner for Persons with  Disabilities/Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in concerned state. 

(Arun Kumar) 

Director General of Civil Aviation

Rev. 6, dated 9th July, 2021