[AI] Please give your comments on the DGCA's CAR for Air Travel of the Disabled People

dr.u.n.sinha narain drunsinha at gmail.com
Sun May 18 17:39:48 EDT 2008

apart from what you have said, i believe that we should be more
practical and instead going into depth we should fight for reference
of an identity card not only for civil aveation but for railways and
other agencies with a booklet to be regularly updated in case of
amendment on rules to disabled person in braille or in CD. this will
not only be benificial for us but also to the authorities issuing
concessions. by the way, may i know the concessions given by civil
aveation ministry to us?

On 5/17/08, SC Vashishth <subhashvashishth at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear Friends
> Finally the 8th draft dated 24th April 2008 has seen the light of the day
> after the Ministry of Civil Aviation cleared it to become the new CAR
> Guideline on Carriage of People with Disabilities and People with Reduced
> Mobility effective 01st May 2008.  *The New CAR is available at
> http://www.dgca.nic.in/cars/D3M-M1.pdf*
> I am attaching a brief assessment of the New CAR viz. Good Points and Issues
> that still needs to be addressed (Loop Holes). There might be few other
> areas that I might have left and you may be able to point them out.
> *I would request you to kindly provide your inputs so that we jointly can
> fight for rectifying the shortcomings together.*
> * *
> * *
> *Good Points included in the DGCA's New CAR *
> *effective 01 May 2008*
> 1.                  To remove confusion between People with
> disabilities/People with Reduced Mobility and Sick/medically ill passengers,
> the new CAR has defined the *Incapacitated Passengers as those with medical
> condition* and Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRM) and Persons with
> Disabilities (PwDs) as those whose mobility is impaired/reduced when using
> transport (Ref Section 3).
> 2.                  It mandates that no airlines will refuse to carry
> PwD/PRM and their assistive aids/devices, escorts & *Guide Dogs*.
> 3.                  Emergency Evacuation procedures and Training on handling
> PwD/PRM shall be included in Airline's Training & Safety manuals.
> 4.                  *Only trained persons shall be assigned to assist and
> handling* the passengers with disabilities.
> 5.                  All Airlines *will assist those who wish to travel alone
> without an escort (Ref. para 4.8)*
> 6.                  Barrier Free Access, accessible toilets and Assistance
> Booths close to the entrance (within visible proximity at arrival/departure
> terminals) with International symbol of Disability at the Airport are
> mandated in 4.10
> 7.                  No limit on number of PwD on a flight. Equal choice of
> seat allocation.
> 8.                  No medical Clearances of special forms shall be insisted
> from PwD/PRM.
> 9.                  All assistive aids shall be provided *without any extra
> costs *to the passengers.
> 10.             Pwds/PRMs including Blind passengers shall not be restricted
> to any particular cabin or seating areas. *Guide Dogs are allowed in the
> Cabin* with prior information.
> 11.             Individual briefing to PRM/PwDs /their escorts before take
> off by senior cabin crew of airline. Blind passengers to be provided
> *Braille
> brochures and large print brochures besides verbal briefing*.
> 12.             Once ticket is confirmed, no further enquiries shall be made
> (Para 9.5).
> 13.             In case of loss or damage to the mobility equipment during
> storage and handling, the airlines shall be liable for providing *suitable
> compensation.*
> 14.             *Assistive Aids and Devices can be carried as hand
> baggage*in the aircraft (Ref: note to para 7.5)
> *15.             *In-transit offloading- in case of overnight halt,
> the *accommodation
> provided should be accessible and barrier free.*
> *Issues that need to be addressed:*
> * *
>    1. Para 4.6 "Passengers who declare independence in feeding,
>    Communication with reasonable accommodation, toileting and personal needs
>    are allowed to travel without escort." *This section is discriminatory
>    against people who require some support in areas of feeding and personal
>    needs etc and it gives a right to airlines to disallow the passengers to
>    fly, if they don't declare independence. We feel that this para looses
> its
>    relevance in light of para 4.8 which is an enabling and positive para.
> Thus
>    in view of this para 4.6 should be deleted in toto.*
>    2. Para 4.9 -People not holding any Disability Certificate also to be
>    given all facilities *but at a cost.  – This is not acceptable since
>    Government of India has so far has failed to provide Disability
> Certificates
>    to all the disabled population and many do not go to obtain one due to
>    ridiculous and time consuming procedures*. Hence, *this condition will
>    adversely affect them for no fault of theirs. Also the Airliners have
> been
>    providing free services to the elderly people who seek much more
> assistance
>    and support that what a blind passenger might seek. Thus this would
> amount
>    to discrimination on the basis of disability and we strongly recommend
> that
>    no additional fee should be charged from any one*.
>    1. *Provisions* *regarding charges for Human assistance are not
>    acceptable* as devised by 6.1 (a). By doing so the person with disability
>    would be put on a disadvantageous position vis-à-vis his non-disabled
>    counterparts and would amount to "Discrimination on the basis of
> Disability"
>    and also against principle of "reasonable accommodation" thus contravenes
>    Article 9 of UNCRPD. For ease of reference Definitions of both terms are
>    appended along with Article 9 UNCRPD as *Annexure A.*
>    1. There is an inherent contradiction in para 6 of the CAR Guideline:
>    While Opening words are *"All assistive aids shall be provided without
>    any extra cost to the passengers."* The first sub para 6(a) provides a
>    loop hole by declaring that "Any charges for human assistance, if
> required,
>    may be levied by the Airlines." Similarly  sub para 6.4 (b) *seeks to
>    charge for narrow wheelchair type aisle chairs* which are without
>    armrests and can be moved about in the passenger cabin and can be used
> for
>    internal mobility by persons with reduced mobility. It says "Any nominal
>    charge in this regard, if levied, shall be paid by the passenger."*  The
>    narrow width of the passage in the aeroplane is a design fault and not
> the
>    fault of wheelchair user. If the present passage could accommodate the
>    personal wheelchairs then aisle chairs would not be needed in its first
>    place. Thus the users should not be penalized /charged for the design
> fault.
>    It is recommended that for all future procurements of aircraft, the
> passage,
>    toilets etc having access features should be invariably provided. Till
> then
>    the aisle chairs should be provided without any costs.*
> * *
>    1. The above charges under 6,4(b) also *contradict para 9.1* (Assistance
>    on the plane) which provides that* All airlines should assist a passenger
>    with disability to get to the toilet. *Any PRM would eventually need an
>    aisle chair for internal mobility including reaching toilet. It
> also *contradict
>    para 4.8* which says "*All airlines shall provide necessary assistance to
>    PwDs/PRM who wish to travel alone without an escort.*
> * *
>    1. Charges for Assistance in Disembarkation at point of transfer and /or
>    destination: *In para 7.7 the airline seeks to charge a nominal amount
>    for request for assistance in baggage delivery and getting out of the
>    airport*. This is absolutely unnecessary and not acceptable. Any charge
>    for assistance in getting the baggage delivered to a blind person, for
>    example, would put him to disadvantage just because he can not see and
> needs
>    help to locate his/her baggage! Doesn't this amount to discrimination?
>    2. *Complaint Procedure* – The role of an external agency has not been
>    provided. *No time limit for complaint redressal has been given*.
>    Earlier, the complaints used to go to the DGCA, CCPD. Now in case of any
>    infringement of the CAR, the user can access the managing body of
>    airlines/airports only who have never in past done any better thing than
>    apologizing- sometimes in person and sometimes in public! *Thus we feel
>    that there could be a Grievance Handling Body consisting of members from
> all
>    scheduled and non-scheduled airliners at a single window as it would be
>    difficult to chase different airlines individually and one would shift
> the
>    blame on the other in case failure of interline coordination is being
>    reported. Also there should be a time limit for redressal of complaint
>    failing which appeal to DGCA and CCPD should lie.*
> *
> *
> *Annexure- A*
> * *
> *UNCRPD- Article 2- Definitions*
> "*Discrimination on the basis of disability*" means any distinction,
> exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability which has the purpose or
> effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on
> an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in
> the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. It
> includes all forms of discrimination, including denial of reasonable
> accommodation"
> "*Reasonable accommodation*" means necessary and appropriate modification
> and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where
> needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the
> enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and
> fundamental freedoms"
> Article 9 - Accessibility
> 1. To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate
> fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures
> to *ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with
> others, to the physical environment, to transportation*, to information and
> communications, including information and communications technologies and
> systems, *and to other facilities and services open or provided to the
> public*, both in urban and in rural areas. These measures, which shall
> include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to
> accessibility, shall apply to, inter alia
>    1. Buildings, roads*, transportation* and other indoor and outdoor
>    facilities, including schools, housing, medical facilities and
> workplaces;
>    2. Information, communications and other services, including electronic
>    services and emergency services.
> 2. States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to:
>    1. Develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum
> *standards
>    and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open or
>    provided to the publi*c;
>    2. *Ensure that private entities that offer facilities and services which
>    are open or provided to the public take into account all aspects of
>    accessibility for persons with disabilities*;
>    3. *Provide training for stakeholders on accessibility issues facing
>    persons with disabilities*;
>    4. Provide in buildings and other facilities open to the public signage
>    in Braille and in easy to read and understand forms;
>    5. *Provide forms of live assistance and intermediaries*, including
>    guides, readers and professional sign language interpreters, *to
>    facilitate accessibility to* buildings *and other facilities open to the
>    public; *
>    6. Promote other appropriate forms of assistance and support to persons
>    with disabilities to ensure their access to information;
>    7. Promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and
>    communications technologies and systems, including the Internet;
>    8. Promote the design, development, production and distribution of
>    accessible information and communications technologies and systems at an
>    early stage, so that these technologies and systems become accessible at
>    minimum cost.
> * ** *
> *The New CAR is available at  http://www.dgca.nic.in/cars/D3M-M1.pdf*
> --
> Subhash Chandra Vashishth,
> Mobile : +91-11-9811125521
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