Wednesday, 28 May 2014

DGCA Directs Airlines to Handle Passengers with Care

 In first of its kind, DGCA has issued comprehensive guidelines on ‘facilities/courtesies to esteemed travelling public at airports’ in the form of Air Transport Circular 1 of 2014.  The Circular lays emphasis on standardized passenger complaint redressal and courteous behaviour of airline/airport staff dealing with passengers.  The guidelines, inter-alia, cover the following aspects:

a)       Provision of automated buggies free of charge for all senior citizens, expectant mothers and disabled and  needy passengers in the terminal building to facilitate their access to boarding gates located beyond reasonable walking distance at all airports having annual aircraft movements of 50,000 or more;

b)      Provision of small trolleys after security check for carriage of hand baggage up to the boarding gate;

c)      Airlines/airport operators to display the details of their Nodal Officer and Appellate Authority in a conspicuous manner at key areas of the airport indicating their names, contact number and email addresses;

d)      Ground handling staff of Airlines/airport operators engaged in passenger handling to undergo periodic soft skill training for sensitization, courtesy, behaviour and procedures for assisting the passengers; and

e)      Airlines/airport operators to report every month on passenger complaints and any incident of misdemeanour, discourteous behaviour and harassment, to DGCA along with the action taken.
                    
This will be ensured through surveillance done by the DGCA, and in case of non-compliance, the airlines/airport operator shall be liable to penal action as per the provisions of the Aircraft Act, 1934, read in conjunction with Aircraft Rules, 1937 and other relevant provisions of Indian Penal Code. The Circular has been uploaded on the DGCA website.

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