Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Air India makes eldely persons to take stairs at Ahmedbad airport

Dear Colleagues,

Defying the DGCA's Civil Aviation Requirement on the carriage of persons with disabilties and persons with reduced mobiltiy by air, Air India continues to make persons with mobility challenges to take stairs and then climb on to high floor buses.

The video recording by our friend Dr. Piyush Ranjan Rout  from his hand held device at Ahmedabad airport  below explains how ill prepared and ill-trained are our airports to provide accessibility to those with reduced mobility :




The step ladders are not accessible for people with reduced mobility, however, several airlines continue to use them and the passengers keep suffering in silence. This is unethical and  uncalled for on the part of Air India and the aerodrome operator.

Indigo has set a wonderful example of ramped approach which is a viable option for the airlines to provide accessibility for persons with reduced mobility in  comparison to the costly ambulift. This atleast allows a person to be pushed manually by support staff rather than being lifted by four people risking the person's safety an dignity. However, if such a ramped access is not provided, ambulifts should be provided invariably.

Also the provision of high flour buses still continues at several airports which must stop immediately and low floor accessible buses must be provided in all such situations. Until then, an accessible van should be provided for persons with reduced mobility at all airports (including smaller airports in the states).

At major airports, effort should be to provide aerobridges so that such situations don't arise. However, at smaller airports accessibility must be given its due place to be compliant to the DGCA's CAR on carriage of persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility by air.

The DGCA should take an immediate action to put an end to such practices and instruct airlines to either provide ambulift and accessible transport at all airports or provide ramped acess to aircraft and accessible trasnport in absence of level aerobridges. This would be in line with the CAR mandate referred above.

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