According to the latest directive issued by the aviation watchdog, The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the airlines operating in India have to install a child restraint system in the aircraft.
The restraint system comprises a harness and safety belt that can be secured to an aircraft seat. This will help prevent the child from falling off the seats and getting injured during sudden unanticipated acceleration or deceleration, or severe turbulence, or such impact.
“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 CRS, in a dedicated seat, appropriate for that infant or child,” DGCA said.
The new directive is issued as an aftermath of the crash of an Air India Express flight in Kerala’s Kozhikode in August 2020. An expert panel recently conducted a study regarding the fatal crash and presented recommendations to the DGCA, citing implementations of the safety measures.
Revise Standard Operating Procedure for Safety Management Systems
Besides installing child restraint systems, the airlines are required to develop a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and guidelines for passengers to understand and manage the change through their safety management systems, enabling them to use child restraint systems onboard their aircraft.
The airlines have to mention the changes on their websites about the details of the seats. That is the width of the narrowest and widest passenger seats in each class of service for each type and make of 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 child restraint system during ground movement, take-off, and landing, etc,” DGCA stated in the directive.