The Mobility Aids and Air Travel Report , developed by an International Working Group (IWG) established by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), is now available. It includes four recommendations that can be implemented in the near term to improve the experience of persons with disabilities travelling by air with mobility aids:
· Developing a mobility aids passport containing technical information, such as dimensions and special handling instructions;
· Creating a standard mobility aid handling checklist that identifies required steps for proper handling;
· Improving communication between passengers and handlers at reservation, pre-trip and on the day of travel; and
· Developing additional training materials for reservation agents, airlines and airport staff, including ground handlers.
The CTA will reach out to the travel industry to widely promote awareness of this initiative. Work is already underway to advance the short-term recommendations set out in the report, with the aim of improving the safe transportation of mobility aids and reducing the likelihood of damage.
In 2016, the CTA launched its Regulatory Modernization Initiative to modernize all the regulations, codes and guidelines it administers, starting with those in the area of accessible transportation. During consultations related to this initiative, issues related to the storage and transportation of mobility aids on aircraft were identified as needing further examination and discussion, as mobility devices have grown in size and complexity.
As a result of this input, the CTA created the IWG to develop recommendations for future action related to issues around the safe storage and transportation of mobility aids. The CTA hosted an international forum in June 2018 to discuss the transportation and storage of mobility aids on aircraft. IWG members included airlines and their trade associations, aircraft manufacturers, mobility aid manufacturers, disability rights organizations, regulators, ground handlers and other interested stakeholders. The forum served as a catalyst for follow up dialogue and innovation, resulting in this final report and recommendations.
“Accessibility is a fundamental human right and we are committed to ensuring that this right is realized in practice. The International Working Group has accomplished tremendous work, and I look forward to working with stakeholders to make even more progress on this important issue to improve the travelling experience of persons with mobility aids.”
– Scott Streiner, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency
About the CTA
The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and regulator that has, with respect to all matters necessary for the exercise of its jurisdiction, all the powers of a superior court. The CTA has three core mandates: helping to keep the national transportation system running efficiently and smoothly, protecting the fundamental right of persons with disabilities to accessible transportation services, and providing consumer protection for air passengers. To help advance these mandates, the CTA makes and enforces ground rules that establish the rights and responsibilities of transportation service providers and users and level the playing field among competitors, resolves disputes using a range of tools from facilitation and mediation to arbitration and adjudication, and ensures that transportation providers and users are aware of their rights and responsibilities and how the CTA can help them.