Beginning tomorrow, Brussels International Airport (BRU) will be the first European airport to implement the new European Commission regulation concerning the assistance of passengers with reduced mobility (PRM). Under this new regulation, disabled passengers must be offered assistance as soon as they arrive at the airport. Previously, passengers had to make it to check-in to receive assistance.
In order to comply with the new regulations BRU contracted with Intergom Airport Caddy to provide assistance to disabled passengers. Passengers who can get to the check-in counter need to notify their airline of their access needs 48 hours in advance. Those passengers who require assistance to the check-in counter must notify Intergom Airport Caddy at least 36 hours in advance. They can either do this by phone (02/753.22.12), e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on the Intergom Airport Caddy website (www.airportcaddy.be).
Once passengers arrive at the airport they can call for pre-arranged assistance by using one of the dedicated call points, which are located at the train station, bus station and car park exits and near the taxi stands.
As per the new regulation, all assistance is provided free of charge to disabled passengers. It should also be noted that the PRM regulations were implemented partially because of Ryanair?s former discriminatory policy for charging some passengers for wheelchair-assistance. After a court ruling, Ryanair discontinued this practice, and instead instated a wheelchair levy on all tickets.
The EU PRM regulation is expected to come into full force by mid-2008, when all Europen airports will be expected to comply.