Cabin crew told to shed weight or be grounded

Cabin crew told to shed weight or be grounded

An obese cabin crew failing to shed weight to normal standard in 18 months will be declared permanently unfit to fly and perform duties on air.

This and other instructions form part of the rules formulated for the first time by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for medical examination of cabin crew. The fresh CAR prescribes the requirement of body mass index (BMI) and rules for disposal of high BMI cases in terms of overweight and obese cabin crew.

According to the new rules, a cabin crew has to undergo a medical check-up at the induction stage as well as once in every four years till 40 years, once in two years till 50 and once every year after that. This is to ensure that those in the profession remains medically fit to discharge the duties specified in the Operations Manual. Based on the medical report, the crew members shall be categorised as fit, temporary unfit and permanent unfit.

The eight-page guidelines with an annexure said the cabin crew with BMI above normal range will have to undergo clinical examination to look for features of secondary obesity and associated lipid abnormalities.

If a crew member is found to be overweight and his or her medical parameters are normal, they should be given three months to reduce weight to acceptable levels, failing which they would be declared “temporary unfit” for duty. If the medical examination reveals problems, a crew member should be declared “temporary unfit” for three months and after a reassessment, he or she should be declared fit for duty or the temporary unfit status should be extended for another three months.

For an obese crew, the period of temporary unfit status is for a period of six months during which he or she should reduce the BMI to normal levels. If it remains in obese range, the crew shall be declared temporary unfit for another six months.

“Unfitness beyond 18 months would merit Permanent Unfitness,” the rules said.

It also noted that the cabin crew declared unfit should undergo a gradual reduction of weight by a combination of diet, exercise and life-style change under periodic monitoring by the airline.

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