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The vanity index

On DGCA's new health standards

In a sign of things to come, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has for the first time introduced physical standards even for flight attendants (see related links). Ostensibly, as the official release states, it is to guarantee that the crew remains “physically active, mentally and comfortable in all phases of aircraft operations and to handle emergencies". The order is applicable to all scheduled airlines and non-scheduled operators.

However, shorn of such officialese, it simply means that the government has, through DGCA, just readied a new broom to clean up its own stables, especially when considering the metrics that will be measured: weight, body mass index, waist-hip ratio and the percentage over ideal weight.

The image makeover to improve the glamour quotient of India’s state-owned national carrier could mean the axe for some of its 3,000 cabin crew, of whom one-third are above 40.

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