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DGCA asks airlines to deboard passengers if found without masks

Passengers have also been noticed removing the masks at the airport, and not following the directions mentioned at the premises.

DGCA asks airlines to deboard passengers if found without masks
SHARES

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), in a recently released circular, started that the airlines can deboard passengers if they are found without masks. The decision was taken keeping the increasing COVID-19 cases in mind and to ensure that people travelling in the flights strictly adhere to the coronavirus safety guidelines drafted by the ministry. 

Sharing more details, the aviation body, in its circular released on Saturday, March 13, 2021, permitted the airlines to take action if the passengers do not listen despite repeated warnings, and also to consider them as 'unruly' passengers if they do not follow the protocol.

Coronavirus cases have been on a rise across several cities in India and with the relaxation being offered, the domestic air traffic has also increased. Passengers have been asked to follow the norms strictly by wearing masks and maintaining social distancing at all times. 

Officials, over the last many months, have noticed the passengers flouting norms by not wearing masks, or wearing it in a wrong manner, not maintaining distance, etc. while at the airport or in the aircraft. Observing the same, strict guidelines have been drafted to ensure passengers support in reducing COVID-19 cases. 

Passengers have also been noticed removing the masks at the airport, and not following the directions mentioned at the premises. Some have been disobeying the social distancing rules and sitting on the 'not to occupy' marked seats.

Keeping this in mind, the circular said, "On board the aircraft, in case any passenger does not adhere to wearing a mask properly even after repeated warnings, he/she should be de-boarded, if need be, before departure. In the case of any passenger on board an aircraft refusing to wear a mask or violates the 'COVID-19 Protocol for passengers' even after repeated warnings, during the course of the flight, such passengers may be treated as 'Unruly' passengers, as per the DGCA. The procedure in respect of handling such unruly passengers will be followed by the airline concerned as per the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR)."

Furthermore, removing the mask and slight changes in the norms will only be permitted under exceptional circumstances, whereby the officials are notified about the same. Police personnel at the airport will have to keep a check on the same, and if any passenger is found without a mask, notification will be sent to the chief airport security officer and other supervising officers for further actions. If passenger's behaviour is found to be unruly, they would be handed over to security agencies after proper warning.

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