Adam Harry. Photo: Instagram/pilotadamharry
New Delhi: Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday issued a clarification on reports of Adam Harry, India's first trans pilot from Kerala, who has been declared 'unfit' by the regulator on medical grounds.
The DGCA has issued a statement, undersigned by YS Dahiya, Group Captain, Directorate of Medical Services (Civil Aircrew), which clarified that Harry has never been denied a commercial pilot's licence by DGCA.
In fact, the aviation watchdog said there are no restrictions on transgender people in obtaining a license, subject to the individual ensuring compliance with relevant provisions of age, educational qualifications, medical fitness, and knowledge experience among others as specified in Aircraft Rules, 1937.
Medical fitness is a mandatory requirement for obtaining a license. Transgender personnel may also be issued a fit medical assessment, provided there are no associated medical, psychiatric, or psychological conditions. The use of hormonal replacement therapy is not disqualifying if the applicant has no adverse symptoms or reactions. However, flying duties are not permitted while the dose of hormonal treatment is being stabilized or until an adequate physiological response has been achieved and the dose no longer needs changing, it said in the statement.
In the case of Harry, towards ensuring the medical assessment, even in the absence of a specific policy for transgender personnel, the process was undertaken in line with the world's best practices.
It said DGCA has followed the process as specified in FAA's Guide for Medical Examiners. This is owing to the case being a first of its kind in India. It is pertinent to mention that the world over a methodology of handling such scenarios on a 'case to case' basis is being followed.
It also clarified that the DGCA prescribed form for medical examination does not contain any field for gender. Additionally, the gender of an individual is auto-fetched from the registration aspect of e-Governance of Civil Aviation (eGCA), which provides a transgender individual to register as 'Transgender'. Adam Harry has not yet registered himself on the eGCA platform which is in place since Dec 2019.
Media reports alleged that Harry has been declared unfit on the grounds of gender dysphoria undergoing hormone therapy and that the same lacked scientific medical basis and is not in line with the practices followed in other countries.
Reacting to the allegation, the statement clarified that the procedure for evaluation of transgender at DGCA is the same as the one followed by FAA.
Further, it said in order to obtain a Commercial Pilot's Licence, an applicant has to undertake necessary flying by utilizing the privileges of a Student Pilot's Licence, which Harry has not undertaken.
Rajiv Gandhi Academy for Aviation Technology, an approved FTO, has indicated that Harry was not issued Student Pilot's License owing to inadequate attendance for ground classes.
Lastly, the statement said that since Harry is due for renewal of his current medical assessment at an Indian Air Force boarding center, he has been informed to undertake a few procedures for obtaining a fresh medical assessment.
It asked harry to apply for name change from Ms Aisha TS to Mr Adam Harry, as per the procedure laid down in the Medical Circular 01/2015 on 'Amendment of Personal Details in the records', register on eGCA as 'Transgender' so that the basic detail gets replicated in all the deliverables of DGCA (including medical assessment), and then apply for Class-2 medical renewal through eGCA (as the previous assessment is valid till 23 Aug 22).