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Newsbeat: Airport Access

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News November 2015

Amendments to Department of Transportation accessibility requirements should make it a bit easier to get through many of the nation's airports this holiday travel season

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The DOT issued a final rule amending its accessibility requirements under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for airport terminal facilities that receive federal financial assistance.

Some of its key changes include service animal relief areas and mechanical lifts for boarding and deplaning passengers. When it comes to service animals, airports are now required to provide at least one wheelchair accessible relief area in each terminal. Airports must consult with at least one service animal training organization in the development of the relief areas. These requirements go into effect Aug. 4, 2016.

Airports will now also need to negotiate with foreign carriers about providing, operating and maintaining lifts, ramps or other devices to allow boarding and deplaning when level-entry loading bridges are unavailable. Signed agreements between airports and foreign carriers allocating responsibility for meeting the requirements were to be completed by Nov. 3.
The agreement must ensure that all actions 
necessary to ensure accessible boarding and deplaning are completed no later than Dec. 3.

U.S. carriers are already required to have such agreements.

 

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Newsbeat: Airport Access

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