The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a three-page long note signed by YS Dahiya, Group Captain, DMS (CA) DGCA on 13th July, which clearly states that ‘There are no restrictions on transgender people to obtain pilot’s licence and ratings…’ as long as the required qualifications and other criteria according to the Aircraft Rules, 1937, are met. The regulatory body has also acknowledged that the use of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) is not grounds by which a candidate can be disqualified if there is no adverse effect of it on the applicant’s health that can cause problems. It did, however specify that, “However, flying duties are not permitted while the dose of hormonal treatment is being stabilised or until an adequate physiological response has been achieved and the dose no longer needs changing…”
The DGCA had recently been trending online for the wrong reasons after it asked India’s first openly trans pilot, Harry, to take the class 2 medical test for clearance to fly under the ‘female’ category, and then allegedly denied him clearance on the grounds that his testosterone level was to high and going through HRT made him unfit for flying. Harry has therefore been in a social and legal battle with the body, which has now also addressed his particular case.
The DGCA has noted that Pilot Harry needs a renewal of his medical assessment and has invited him and issued three pointers for him to follow to qualify the same. This includes registering as transgender on the DGCA’s e-governance portal. As reported by Hindustan Times, Harry sees this as the beginning of the change and is happy with DGCA’s response. Like he told the daily, in part, “I am looking forward to flying in India without compromising my identity as a man.”