It is to help airlines and assistance agents transport mobility aids safely and efficiently
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced new guidance to help airlines and assistance agents transport mobility aids safely and efficiently and enhance the passenger travel experience with disabilities.
Providing safe, reliable and dignified transportation for passengers with disabilities is a priority for airlines that was reinforced by a Resolution passed unanimously at the IATA 75th Annual General Meeting in 2019. The safe and efficient transportation of aids for Mobility was identified as a key area for improvement by airlines, working with industry stakeholders and disability groups.
“Airlines are committed to ensuring that passengers with disabilities can travel with dignity, confidence and comfort. Working with representatives of the disability community, we established that new protocols were urgently required to improve the transportation of mobility aids. This new guidance, created in partnership with key players in the travel chain, will improve service and significantly reduce damage to these vital devices that are often an extension of a passenger with a disability’s body,” said Nick Careen, Senior Vice President of IATA. President of Operations, Security and Protection.
Key elements of the new guidance include:
Improved processes for booking and sharing information, including the use of Special Service Request (SSR) and Passenger Name Requirement (PNR) codes to provide advance information on mobility aid specifications.
A recommendation to create an e-mobility aid label, affixed to the mobility aid and containing technical information that will help airlines and ground-handling services transport the aid safely.
Advice to airlines on developing a communication toolkit for interacting with passengers with disabilities, including a clearly marked and accessible area of the website.
Best Practices for Loading, Picking Up, and Returning Mobility Aids
A recommendation that dedicated specialist ramp personnel be trained and deployed to handle mobility aids.
Guidance on how to properly resolve cases where mobility aids are damaged
Revised and improved training for ground handlers and airline staff
“Experience shows that communication is key to improving the management of mobility aids. This guide sets out the steps for passengers, airlines and the travel chain to exchange information at each stage of the journey. It will help airlines perform better and give passengers using mobility aids greater confidence. We will work with our members and stakeholders to operationalize this guidance, and the industry will communicate with legislators to encourage harmonization with national regulations,” Careen said.
The guide reflects and is based on industry best practice and will continue to be revised and expanded upon before becoming industry standards. Other aspects include recommendations for airport layouts to meet accessibility standards, as well as specific guidance to ensure compliance with the Dangerous Goods Regulations (for lithium battery-powered devices), plus step-by-step instructions on how to safely carry mobility aids. on board.
Source : WTTC