Voluntary Codes of Conduct Improving Air Carrier Aaccessibility for Persons With Disabilities (PWD)

OTTAWA, Nov. 15 /CNW/ – The Canadian Transportation Agency has found that Canada’s major air carriers are improving onboard accessibility for persons with disabilities.

The Agency today released a compliance report (http://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/doc.php?did=2370) on the status of the Implementation Guide Regarding Space for Service Dogs and the Implementation Guide Regarding Tactile Row Markers Onboard Large Aircraft. This report indicates that the country’s six largest airlines, representing over 80% of air passenger traffic in Canada, have made progress in terms of: – providing onboard tactile row markers to assist persons with visual impairments in independently finding their seats; – providing sufficient space for service dogs at travellers’ seats, and – informing travellers of their policies regarding these provisions of the Code of Practice: Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities.

The Implementation Guides provide detailed practical information on accommodating persons with disabilities and are intended to be read in conjunction
with the Agency’s voluntary Air Code. Both were developed in consultation with the Agency’s Accessibility Advisory Committee and other stakeholders, such as service dog training institutions and three national organizations representing persons who are blind.

Air carriers subject to the Air Code were expected to be compliant with the Implementation Guide regarding Space for Service Dogs by December 1, 2009 and the Implementation Guide regarding Tactile Row Markers by March 31, 2010.

The Agency’s compliance report measures progress made since then as compared with an initial baseline assessment.

The report finds that: – With respect to providing space for service dogs, five of the six air carriers assessed were found to have met the provisions of the Air Code as set out in the Implementation Guide.

Where provisions concerning tactile row markers were concerned, three out of the six air carriers assessed were fully compliant with the provisions of
the Air Code. Two were partially compliant, while another was deemed to be non-compliant.

The Agency will work with non-compliant carriers as well as other stakeholders to ensure that the provisions of the Air Code are met, and to continue
to enhance the accessibility of the federally regulated transportation network.

About the Canadian Transportation Agency

The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent administrative body of the Government of Canada. It performs
two key functions within the federal transportation system:

As a quasi-judicial tribunal, the Agency, informally and through formal adjudication, resolves a range of commercial and consumer transportation-related disputes, including accessibility issues for persons with disabilities. It operates
like a court when adjudicating disputes.

As an economic regulator, the Agency makes determinations and issues authorities, licences and permits to transportation carriers under federal jurisdiction.

Compliance reports are available online at the Canadian Transportation Agency Web site at www.cta.gc.ca, and in multiple formats by calling 1-888-222-2592.

To keep up-to-date with our latest news releases and other information, subscribe to our electronic mail service (http://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/inscription-subscription/index.php?lang=eng).

Reproduced from http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/cnw/article.jsp?content=20101115_174502_0_cnw_cnw