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The Legal requirements Ann Frye, Chair, ECAC Sub-Group on PRMs

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1 The Legal requirements Ann Frye, Chair, ECAC Sub-Group on PRMs
Workshop on Travel for Passengers with Reduced Mobility Sofia, Bulgaria – 31st March – 1st April 2009 Regulation 1007/2006: The Legal requirements Ann Frye, Chair, ECAC Sub-Group on PRMs

2 Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of The European Parliament and of the Council
“Concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air;” Made 5th July 2006; Requirements on refusal of carriage come into effect 26th July 2007; Other requirements came into effect July 2008.

3 European Union Regulation Fundamental Principles
“In order to give disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility opportunities for air travel comparable to those of other citizens, assistance to meet their particular needs should be provided at the airport as well as on board aircraft, by employing the necessary staff and equipment. In the interests of social inclusion, the persons concerned should receive this assistance without additional charge.”

4 Scope The Regulation applies to disabled people and people with reduced mobility travelling by commercial air passenger services departing from, arriving at or in transit through an airport situated in the territory of an EU Member State; Provisions dealing with refusal of carriage and assistance by airlines also apply to passengers travelling from a third country to a Member State in a Community air carrier.

5 Definition “Disabled Person” or “Person with Reduced Mobility” (prm) includes anyone whose mobility when using transport is reduced due to: Any physical disability (permanent or temporary); Any intellectual impairment; Any other problem caused by age or disability.

6 Refusal of Carriage An air carrier, its agent or a tour operator must not refuse, on grounds of disability or reduced mobility: To accept a reservation for a flight departing from or arriving at an airport to which this Regulation applies; To embark a disabled person or prm provided that they have a valid ticket and reservation.

7 Exceptions An air carrier can refuse carriage on grounds of disability only: in order to meet safety requirements: established under international, Community or national law or; Established by the Authority which issued the air operator’s certificate; or If the size if the aircraft or its doors make embarkation of the disabled person physically impossible.

8 Exceptions If a passenger is refused on one of these grounds, the carrier must make “reasonable efforts” to propose an acceptable alternative; A passenger who has been refused on this basis must be offered the right to re-imbursement or re-routing; Where safety requirements are at issue, the carrier may require that the disabled person is accompanied by another person capable of providing necessary assistance.

9 Points of Arrival and Departure
The airport managing body must designate points of arrival and departure within the airport boundary at which disabled people and prms can call for assistance; These points must be agreed with the Airport Users Committee and with organisations representing disabled people ; The points will vary but could include forecourts, car parks, taxi ranks, coach and rail stations.

10 Points of Arrival and Departure
They must also be clearly signed and give information about the airport in accessible formats

11 Transmission of Information
Air carriers, their agents and tour operators must ensure that they receive notification of the need for assistance at the point of booking; If they receive notification 48 hours ahead of travel, they must transmit it to the airport at least 36 hours before departure; If they don’t receive 48 hours notice the airport must make “all reasonable efforts” to ensure that the disabled person can take their flight; After departure the air carrier must inform the destination airport of the needs of the passenger as soon as possible.

12 Right to Assistance at the Airport
The airport managing body is responsible for providing assistance; They can provide assistance themselves or contract it out; Assistance must be provided to enable disabled people to: Move through all stages of the airport procedures; Get on board the aircraft and into a seat.

13 Right to Assistance at the Airport
Annex 1 to the Regulation sets out the assistance that must be provided. This includes: Moving from the designated point of arrival; Checking and registering baggage; Boarding the aircraft; Stowing baggage on board; Completing customs and immigration procedures on arrival.

14 Charging for Assistance at Airports
Airports must provide assistance without charge to the disabled passenger; They can levy a charge on all airport users to fund the assistance; The charge must be shared among airport users in proportion to the total number of passengers carried to and from that airport; The charge must be cost related and transparent.

15 Quality Standards for Assistance
The airport managing body must set quality standards for the assistance required; These standards must be agreed with the Airport Users Committee and organisations representing disabled passengers; Quality standards must take account of the guidance drawn up by ECAC; Quality standards must be published; Higher standards can be provided by agreement between the airport and air carrier; Airports with fewer than 150,000 commercial passenger movements annually are exempt from these requirements.

16 Right to Assistance on Board the Aircraft
The air carrier must provide assistance without charge to the passenger; Annex 2 sets out the assistance that must be provide. It includes: Carrying recognised assistance dogs; Carrying up to two pieces of mobility equipment (per passenger), including electric wheelchairs; Making all reasonable efforts to arrange seating to meet their needs (subject to safety requirements); Assistance in moving to and from toilet facilities.

17 Training Airports and air carriers must:
Ensure that all their personnel (including those employed through sub-contractors) who provide direct assistance to disabled passengers are trained in how to meet their needs; Provide disability equality and disability awareness training to all personnel who deal directly with the travelling public; Ensure that appropriate training is provided to new employees and refresher training is given to all employees.

18 Compensation If a wheelchair or other mobility equipment is damaged while being handled at the airport or carried on board, the passenger must be compensated in accordance with international rules.

19 Enforcement Each Member State must designate a body or bodies responsible for the enforcement of the Regulation for flights departing from or arriving at airports in their territory; This body must ensure that the rights of disabled people and prms are respected; This includes compliance with the quality standards; Most countries have appointed their Civil Aviation Authority.

20 Duties of Enforcement Body
The NEB has to take necessary measures to ensure that the rights of disabled people and PRMS are respected; This includes compliance with quality standards.

21 Complaints A disabled person or prm can report a breach of the Regulation to the airport managing body or airline concerned; If they are not satisfied with the response they can complain to the Enforcement Body who should investigate it; Member States must inform disabled people and prms about their rights and how to complain.

22 Penalties Member States must set rules on penalties to apply to breaches of the Regulation and must make sure that these rules are implemented; The penalties must be “effective, proportionate and dissuasive”.

23 Penalties To take one example:
The UK have set the following levels of fine: 6000 € for most offences, but; Unlimited fine for more serious offences including: breach of non-discrimination provisions; failure to designate arrival/departure points; charging for assistance; limiting or waiving obligations.

24 Turning law into practice..
Regulation 1107/2006 defines the areas in which assistance needs to be provided; But not how that assistance is to be delivered; The Regulation asks that airports and air carriers “have regard” to Guidance from the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) in: How they organise assistance to disabled passengers and How they train their staff.

25 Turning law into practice..
Guidance drawn up by the ECAC - known as Doc 30 – sets out the quality standards and service levels that are needed; The Guidance has no legal force but it is widely recognised and used by airlines and airports; Service level targets and standards based on the ECAC guidance can be included in the contract with the assistance provider.

26 ECAC Guidance There are three guidance notes that are particularly helpful in developing best practice: Annex J: Code of Good Conduct in Ground Handling for Persons with Reduced Mobility; Annex K: Guidelines on Ground Handling for Persons With Reduced Mobility; Annex N: Guidelines on Awareness and Disability Equality for All Airport & Airline Personnel dealing with the Travelling Public.

27 Annex J Sets out: The scope of the services that should be provided;
The operating principles that should be followed; The hours during which they should be available.

28 Annex J Also deals with:
The service standards and targets that should be met for pre-booked and non pre-booked departing and arriving passengers; Customer satisfaction; Performance and quality monitoring.

29 Operating principles There should be:
An effective system of prioritising, scheduling and delivering assistance; Clear guidelines for the customer so that they understand what should be provided; Appropriate meeting/waiting areas; Training programmes for staff; Appropriate equipment.

30 Service Standards Annex J suggests minimum levels of service for providing assistance; These are expressed in terms of acceptable waiting times; However, standards are about quality as well as time!

31 Annex K Deals with: The basic principles that should be followed in delivering assistance; The equipment that should be available to provide assistance safely and with comfort and dignity; The training needs of staff operating this equipment.

32 Annex N Understanding disability is essential for all staff at airports and on airlines who deal with the travelling public; Annex N provides guidance on how to interact with and provide assistance to a wide range of people with disabilities; The most important point for all those working in this field is to treat people with respect and dignity.

33 Further information
ECAC.CEAC Doc No. 30, Part I (revised) Annexes J,K and N

34 Is it working? The European Disability Forum is still receiving complaints including: Airlines refusing boarding without medical clearance; Airlines insisting on an accompanying person; Airlines refusing to carry heavy wheelchairs; Airlines charging for mobility equipment. There is also evidence of some airports charging airlines at a disproportionate level.

35 Is it working? The Regulation will only be effective if the monitoring and enforcement are consistent and rigorous; It is already clear that standards vary considerably; Some enforcement bodies see their role simply to pass complaints from the disabled person to the airport without comment; They need to take a proactive role of investigation and arbitration..

36 Is it working? Other keys to successful operation include:
A consistent and effective system of notification between travel agents, airlines and airports; A recognition by airports that buying the cheapest ground handling services is unlikely to be good enough - cleaning companies are not necessarily experts in handling disabled people! Involvement of disabled people both in standard setting and in monitoring service delivery.

37 The Legal requirements Ann Frye, Chair, ECAC Sub-Group on PRMs
Workshop on Travel for Passengers with Reduced Mobility Sofia, Bulgaria – 31st March – 1st April 2009 Regulation 1007/2006: The Legal requirements Ann Frye, Chair, ECAC Sub-Group on PRMs

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