UK. Disabled Persons Rights to Access Aircraft

Civil Aviation (Access to Air Travel for Disabled Persons and Persons with Reduced Mobility) Regulations 2007These set out offences and penalties for non-compliance with EC Regulation 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air. The CAA is responsible for enforcement. Complaints are dealt with by the CEHR and the General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland. The Disability Discrimination Act applies to airport facilities and boarding facilities but not to services provided in board an aircraft. The aim of the EC Regulation is to prevent airlines from refusing to carry persons on grounds of their disability or reduced mobility. It requires the provision of assistance, free of charge, which meets their needs. It applies to airports, travel agents, tour operators and airlines. It also covers people with reduced mobility because of their age, reduced mental capacity or illness. It requires airport managing bodies to make provision for disabled persons and those with reduced mobility to enable them to pass through airports, board, disembark and transit. It guarantees assistance from a designated point of arrival at the airport to the aircraft and from the aircraft on arrival at the destination to a designated point at the exit to the terminal. This must be provided free of charge to the passenger but the airport may recover the cost from airlines proportionate to the total number of passengers that airline carries. Airlines must provide free assistance on board the aircraft. The only exemption is where there are well-founded safety reasons.

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