DGCA issues show cause notice to Air India over elderly passenger’s death at Mumbai airport

New Delhi | The aviation watchdog, DGCA has issued a show cause notice to Air India after an elderly aboard an Air India flight from New York to Mumbai passed away after collapsing at the Mumbai airport.

The incident occurred on February 12 when the passenger, aged over 80, initially requested for a wheelchair but opted to walk after being informed to wait due to high demand.

Tragically, the passenger collapsed and died during the immigration process.

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“With reference to the incident of non-availability of a wheelchair by Air India to an 80-year-old passenger who collapsed and died after walking from plane to terminal at Mumbai, a report was called for from the airline,” said Director General, DGCA, Vikram Dev Dutt.

Dutt said that Air India informed that Babu Patel expired on arrival of AI-116 from New York on February 12.

“Patel was accompanied by his wife Narmadaben Patel (76). Both Passengers had booked wheelchairs. The passengers were requested to wait as there was a high demand for wheelchairs,” said Dutt.

One wheelchair was available for Patel’s wife so he decided to start walking along with his wife on a wheelchair.

“While walking, Patel collapsed near APHO office. MIAL doctor was called and after examining the passenger, he was asked to be hospitalised after giving CPR. The passenger was rushed to Nanavati Hospital in MIAL Ambulance. At Nanavati, the CMO (Dr. Ronaldo), who after examination informed that passenger did not survive,” the Air India told the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

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The DGCA has already issued CAR section- 3, Series ‘M’, Part- I on “carriage by air - persons with disability (Divyangjan) and/or persons with reduced mobility. As per the Para 4.1.7 of the CAR, airlines are mandatorily required to provide assistance to persons with disability (Divyangjan) or reduced mobility’s 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.

“A show cause notice has been issued to Air India for not complying with the provisions of the said CAR in violation of Aircraft Rules, 1937 and submit a reply to DGCA within 7 days of the issue of the notice,” said Dutt.

“Further, an advisory has also been issued to all airlines to ensure that an adequate number of wheelchairs are available for passengers who require assistance during embarking or disembarking from the aircraft during their journey,” the DGCA chief added.

By IANS

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