Air passengers should soon expect leaner cabin crew on all domestic flights with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation laying down fresh guidelines to assess their fitness.
The new norms prescribe the requirement of body mass index (BMI) to be adhered to. The BMI is calculated based on an individual’s weight and height. It does not measure body fat directly, but correlates it to direct measures of body fat.
“A cabin crew who is found to be overweight shall be given three months time to reduce weight to acceptable levels, failing which the crew would be declared ‘temporary unfit’ for duties for a period of six months,” said a DGCA notification.
The aviation regulator has also made it mandatory for cabin crew to undergo medical examinations on a periodic basis. Crew above the age of 50 have to pass medical checks every year to ensure they are fit to fly and not overweight to perform their duties. Those above the age of 40 are required to undergo checks every two years.
“The Initial Medical Examination shall be conducted upon induction. Subsequently, cabin crew shall undergo medical examination once every four years till the age of 40, once every two years till the age of 50 and yearly thereafter,” said a DGCA notification.
Among the airlines, these norms are set to impact Air India the most, since around 1,400 of the airline’s 3,500 cabin crew are above the age of 40. Among the 1,400 cabin crew, around 800 are above the age of 50 and will have to go through annual tests.
“The BMI thing in the medical tests is new and we would surely have to ground overweight cabin crew members for three months,” said an Air India official.