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Source: The post is based on the article “Centre notifies protocols to make flying easy for disabled” published in TOI on 12th January 2023
What is the News?
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has released the ‘Accessibility Standards and Guidelines for Civil Aviation’.
What are Accessibility Standards and Guidelines for Civil Aviation?
These are standards and guidelines to allow persons with disabilities easier access to airport infrastructure, the facilities and features that airlines need to provide, as well as the security protocols they need to follow.
These guidelines are in line with the mandate set out by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
What are the key provisions of the guidelines?
The airport operator will have to provide accessible and reserved parking, along with drop-off/ pick-up points. The parking area should also be connected to the building entrance through an accessible route.
The guidelines call for a helpdesk near the entry gate, proper signage, designated seating at check-in, security hold and boarding gates that also allow display boards to be seen and announcements to be heard clearly.
Accessible toilets and drinking water facilities must be offered in common areas.
All airports should provide either an aerobridge or an ambulift to facilitate the movement of people with reduced mobility.
In case a ramp or another facility is not available, the passenger could be seated in a wheelchair, which can then be lifted manually.
Airlines have to make their website, apps and forms accessible to such passengers. Flyers with an impairment have to inform airlines about their requirements 48 hours prior to departure.
Screening points should have full-body scanners/door frame metal detectors, chairs and walking aids. If a flyer expresses concerns about being checked using any of these devices, they can request a private, physical search.