NEW DELHI: The aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) fined IndiGo airline Rs 5 lakh for denying a specially-abled child boarding at Ranchi airport on May 7.
The child was denied permission to board the Ranchi-Hyderabad trip by IndiGo on May 9 because he was 'visibly in terror.' Because the youngster was not allowed to board, his parents, who were accompanying him, chose not to board as well.
This is also the first time the aviation watchdog has imposed a financial fine on an airline.
The DGCA had on May 9 formed a three-member team to investigate the incident. "It has been observed that the handling of the special child by the Indigo ground staff was deficient and ended up exacerbating the situation," said a statement by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
More compassionate handling would have smoothened nerves, calmed the child and obviated the need for the extreme step resulting in denied boarding to the passengers, it mentioned.
Special situations deserve extraordinary responses, but the airline's staff failed to rise up to the occasion and, in the process, committed lapses in adherence to the letter and spirit of the Civil Aviation Requirements (regulations), it noted.
"In view of this, the competent authority in the DGCA has decided to impose a penalty of Rs 5 lakhs on the airline under the provisions of the relevant Aircraft Rules," it mentioned.