The Department of Transportation (DOT) has expressed its intention to supplement the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) to include performance standards for on-board wheelchairs on covered aircraft – aircraft with over 125 seats. To that end the US Access Board is developing non-binding guidelines as technical assistance to air carriers and manufacturers of on-board wheelchairs. It should be noted that these will be voluntary guidelines that provide a tangible example of the DOT’s performance standards.
According to documents published in the Federal Register, the guidelines will specify dimensions, features, and capabilities for on-board wheelchairs. The guidelines will also include criteria to allow the on-board wheelchair to fully enter the lavatory in a backward orientation and be positioned over a closed toilet with the door closed. This feature will afford those passengers who cannot independently transfer to the toilet a modicum of privacy, while performing non-toileting personal hygiene tasks
For more information about the proposed guidelines, visit https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/08/20/2019-17873/advisory-guidelines-for-aircraft-onboard-wheelchairs.
Instructions for submitting comments can be found at www.regulations.gov (Docket ATBCB-2019-0002).
Comments are due October 21, 2019.