Monday, 18 August 2014 15:23
Written by George Sensalis
The UK CAA has set tougher requirements on airports and airlines concerning information they must provide disabled passengers.
The Civil Aviation Authority has issued a new set of rules on information UK airports and airlines operating flights to and from the United Kingdom must make available to passengers with disabilities.
Requirements concern making essential information available to consumers in an accessible format. Information should be provided on a single web page one click away from the home page of the operator’s website or on webpages directly accessible from a single ‘landing’ webpage one click away from the home page.
Content should be presented in a clear and easy to understand way and accessible for passengers with impairments such as blindness or low vision, deafness or hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, restricted movement, photosensitivity or any combination of these. The design of your websites should take into consideration existing international guidelines on website accessibility.
Airports must publish information on the assistance provided at the airport and how to obtain this assistance; Information on the layout of the airport; Information on quality standards and airport security; Handling of mobility equipment and assistance dogs; The telephone number and opening hours of the airport’s helpline for enquiries from Passengers with Reduced Mobility and other disabilities; Information on how to complain.
In addition to what required from airports, airlines must publish Information on safety restrictions; Information on seating on-board; Information on fitness to fly; Information on when a carer will be required; accessibility and use of lavatories; compensation for damaged or lost mobility devices.
“This is a giant leap forward in terms of quality, quantity, and accessibility of information available to passengers with disabilities,” Reduced Mobility Rights Director Roberto Castiglioni said. “In a perfect world, we would like to see information made available to consumers in a printed format at PRM lounges and assistance desks across airports.”
Airports and airlines have until 31st October 2014 to comply with the new requirements. The UK CAA told operators it may take formal enforcement action to ensure compliance under sections 86 and 87 of the Civil Aviation Act 2012. This may include imposing a penalty or seeking a court injunction against operators not in compliance with the new rules.