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DGCA opens skies for transgenders, issues guidelines to assess fitness applying for pilot licence

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation issued guidelines for aeromedical evaluation of transgender persons for obtaining medical clearance for all categories of pilot’s license. The aviation safety regulator has for the first time framed new medical guidelines that allow transgender persons who have completed their gender transition therapy or surgery to be declared fit to fly.

DGCA opens skies for transgender issues guidelines to assess fitness applying for pilot licence gcw
New Delhi, First Published Aug 11, 2022, 12:30 PM IST

India has opened its skies for transgender pilots. For the first time, the government has released new regulations for the aeromedical assessment of the fitness of prospective pilots who identify as transgender, have gender dysphoria, or do not fit into any gender. Guidelines to evaluate the suitability of transgender pilot candidates were released on Wednesday by the aviation authority Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

On Wednesday, the DGCA released rules for medical examiners to follow when determining a transgender applicant's eligibility for a commercial pilot licence. Last month, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation refuted media claims that Kerala-born transman Adam Harry had been turned down by the regulator for a commercial pilot licence.

The DGCA later stated that a transgender person can be awarded a fit medical certificate as long as there are "no accompanying medical, mental, or psychological issues," stating that these claims are untrue. A transgender applicant's fitness would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis using the principles of assessing their functional abilities and risk of incapacitation, the DGCA noted in its rules on Wednesday.

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It said that the candidates who identify as transgender and who have undergone gender reassignment surgery or hormone therapy within the last five years would be assessed for their mental health.

It said that the applicant "must provide a complete report from the trained endocrinologist detailing the specifics of the hormone therapy the applicant has been receiving, including duration, dose, frequency of dosing, adjustments made, hormone assay reports, adverse effects, etc." A candidate who is having gender reassignment surgery or hormone replacement treatment will be deemed medically unsuitable for at least three months, it noted.

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(With PTI inputs)

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