Transportation Department Announces New Airplane Bathroom Accessibility Rule

by Donald Wood
Thu July 27, 2023

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a new rule that requires airline bathrooms to be more accessible.

As part of the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the DOT now requires airlines to make lavatories on new single-aisle aircraft large enough to permit a passenger with a disability and attendant, both equivalent in size to a 95th percentile male.

The bathrooms must allow the two people to approach, enter and maneuver within as necessary.

“Traveling can be stressful enough without worrying about being able to access a restroom; yet today, millions of wheelchair users are forced to choose between dehydrating themselves before boarding a plane or avoiding air travel altogether,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

“We are proud to announce this rule that will make airplane bathrooms larger and more accessible, ensuring travelers in wheelchairs are afforded the same access and dignity as the rest of the traveling public,” Buttigieg continued.

In addition, the DOT has made major recent investments to make infrastructure more accessible, including awarding billions of dollars to add wheelchair ramps, accessible restrooms and more to airport terminals, as well as retrofitting rail and subway stations with elevators, ramps and other improvements.

Government officials have also laid the groundwork for potential rule changes that would address passengers staying in their own wheelchairs when they fly and how airline staff assists passengers with disabilities.

Donald Wood

Donald Wood is TravelPulse’s senior writer in the breaking news department, bringing nearly 15 years of experience to the desk….

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