The Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey, TD, today welcomed the new measures that will come into force on Saturday, 26 July which will give disabled people and people with reduced mobility new rights when travelling by air in the European Union.
Under the provisions of the new European Regulation, airports will have to provide services that enable disabled passengers and other passengers with reduced mobility to board, disembark and transit between flights which will greatly help those passengers when flying, either for leisure or business purposes.
Speaking today Minister Dempsey said; "These measures are an important step in ensuring that disabled people and people with reduced mobility have access to the same standards and services that all passengers can expect when they fly. The measures will ensure equality for all passengers and at no extra cost to the passenger with reduced mobility".
From 26 July, airports will have to offer a specific range of services to people with reduced mobility so that they can benefit from airport facilities to the same extent as other passengers. In addition, airlines will be obliged to offer certain services, free of charge, such as the transport of wheelchairs and guide dogs.
Under the Regulation it is illegal for an airline, travel agent or tour operator to refuse a booking on the grounds of disability or of reduced mobility, or to refuse to allow a disabled person or person with reduced mobility to board an aircraft when they have a valid ticket and reservation except for duly justified safety reasons. This applies to any flight leaving an airport in the European Union and also to flights on European airlines arriving in the EU. Passengers in need of assistance must make this clear at the time of booking and at least 48 hours before departure.
Complaints concerning infringements of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2006 should be made in the first instance to the managing body of the airport or the airline or tour operator concerned. If a satisfactory response is not received, complaints can be made to the Commission for Aviation Regulation which has been designated as the national enforcement body for the EU Regulation.
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New Rights for Disabled Persons or Persons with reduced mobility (PRMs) travelling by air