DGCA asks airlines to implement child restraint system for kids’ safety onboard
NEW DELHI: Acting on the recommendations of a sub-committee constituted after the Air India Express accident in Kozhikode in August 2020, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has sent an advisory to all airlines to implement a child restraint system (CRS) to protect infants while onboard.
According to DGCA, CRS is a device, other than a seat belt, that is designed specifically to protect and restrain an infant or child during all phases of flight. It typically has an internal harness and belt combination. The device needs to interface with the aircraft seat.
This includes devices that are secured using the aircraft seat belt as well as systems that secure the device to the aircraft seat.
Talking about the guidelines for the airlines, DGCA said that proper use of restraints is one of the most basic and important factors in surviving an accident. “It is not possible for a parent to physically restrain an infant or child, especially during a sudden acceleration or deceleration, unanticipated or severe turbulence, or impact. The safest way to secure an infant or child on board an aircraft is a CRS, in a dedicated seat, appropriate for that infant or child,” DGCA said.
The regulator, hence, advised the airlines to encourage and increase the use of CRS by passengers, wherever feasible, traveling by air with infants or children. This has been done as part of the air safety management protocol.
DGCA also asked the airlines to develop the processes, relevant policies, procedures and training programmes, standard operating procedures (SOP), as well as guidelines for managing change through their safety management systems to allow and enable the use of CRS on board their aircraft.
“The airlines may also make available on their websites the width of the narrowest and widest passenger seats in each class of service for each make, model, and series of airplane used in passenger-carrying operations and prohibit the use of certain types of CRS during ground movement, take-off, and landing etc,” the DGCA circular said.
An Air India Express flight from Dubai to Kozhikode landed in extreme weather conditions on August 7, 2020 after aborting two attempts and overshot the runway in its third attempt to land. Due to this, the aircraft that had 190 people on board, was broken into two. It also claimed the lives of 20 passengers including two pilots and left several others injured.