Detroit Airport Under Fire by Disability Advocates


Like many wheelchair-users, Paul Palmer uses public transportation to get to and from the airport. And for a long time that worked out just fine for him at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. That is until the airport moved their bus loading/unloading zone from the terminal, to the far end of the half-mile-long Ground Transportation Center located across the street.

Now Palmer is seeking injunctive relief. In a suit filed last month he wants the court to order the airport to allow public transportation providers to drop off passengers directly outside the entrance to the Ground Transportation Center, saving them some 600 feet of walking or rolling. This closer site is now used by college buses to drop off students at the airport.

It should also be noted that Palmer isn’t seeking any monetary damages in the lawsuit. All he wants is to be able to access the airport.

Personally I think it’s ridiculous to make wheelchair-users and slow walkers trudge this extra distance, when there’s a very reasonable alternative. And let’s not forget that Detroit gets some pretty nasty weather in the winter, which compounds the matter even more.

Hopefully Palmer will be successful in his lawsuit. But I just have to shake my head that it had to go that far. Common sense tells you that disabled passengers should be dropped of as close to the entrance as possible. I guess the folks at the Detroit Airport missed that day in their disability training class!