Draft rules seek to make airports disabled-friendly

What is the News?

The Government of India has released the Draft Rules to make airports Disabled friendly.

Why were these Draft Rules to make airports Disabled friendly released?

The Draft Rules follows the Rights of Person with Disabilities Rules, 2017 under which the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is required to frame harmonised guidelines for accessibility standards for persons with disabilities.

Moreover, the draft guidelines were also released following an incident in which a lady was asked to remove her prosthetic leg during the security check at the airport. This is despite security norms being amended four years ago, which require prosthetics or wheelchairs to be put through an X-ray only on sufficient reason or justification.

What are the key provisions of the Draft Rules to make airports Disabled friendly?

Infrastructural Requirements: The draft guidelines details various infrastructural requirements that an airport must provide. These include:

  • Reserved parking space for the differently-abled which is connected to the entrance of the passenger terminal through an accessible route and a tactile path
  • Designated seating spaces, bigger lifts, ramps and handrails with Braille indicators and 
  • Aisle chairs on flights longer than three hours for in-flight use.

Prior Information: Disabled passengers should inform the airline about their complete requirement 48 hours before the scheduled departure so that the carrier can make necessary arrangements, it mentioned.

Disabled Awareness Training: Airlines should ensure that disability awareness training is conducted for new hires and ensure periodic refreshers are conducted for all staff to reiterate policies and standard operating procedures on customer assistance with different types of disabilities.

Service Animals on Flights: Passengers should check with the airline on the specific requirements of bringing service animals on flights. For example, Air India allows small and inoffensive domestic pets such as dogs, cats and birds, accompanied by valid health and rabies vaccination certificates, on domestic flights in the cabin or in the cargo hold.

Source: This post is based on the articleDraft rules seek to make airports disabled-friendly” published in “The Hindu” on 27th October 2021.

Print Friendly and PDF