The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has advised all the airlines in India to install a child restraint system (CRS) on aircraft to protect infants in flights. It said that the advisory is based on the recommendation sent by a sub-committee after Air India Express accident in Calicut on August 7, 2020.
The DGCA further said that the operations circular, issued on February 18, will be applicable to commercial air transport.
What is CRS?
According to DGCA, child restraint system (CRS) is any 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 aviation regulator further said.
These are similar to the restraints installed in cars (a baby car seat), which has seat belts, to provide anchors and ensure seat belt compatibility.
Why the CRS is needed on flights?
The DGCA said that proper use of restraints is one of the most basic and important factor 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,” the circular said.
What the DGCA has said in its advisory
The aviation regulator has advised airlines to encourage and increase the use of CRS by passengers, wherever feasible, travelling by air with infants or children.
“The airlines may 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 DGCA said in its circular.
It has further advised airlines to mention 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.