Monday, June 27, 2016

Accessible Airport Award- Larnaca Airport, Cyprus adjudged Best European Airport providing services for persons with Disabilities

'Accessible Airport' honour for Larnaca Airport, Cyprus.

FAMAGUSTA GAZETTE • Sunday, 26 June, 2016

LARNACA AIRPORT has been highly commended as the Best European airport in providing services for people with disabilities, during the 12th General Assembly of the Airports Council International (ACI) – Europe, hosted in Athens on June 22.

The General Assembly was attended by various agencies and services from European airports.

As stated in the ACI’s press release Larnaca International Airport is “the highly commended airport for the Accessible Airport Award”.

Larnaca Airport is also honoured for “the positive travelling experience it gives to people with disabilities as well as for its great efforts to comply with accessibility standards”.

In a statement, Eleni Kaloyirou, Chief Executive Officer of Hermes Airports, said that “we are delighted with this honoring distinction obtained by Larnaca International Airport” and congratulated Sophie Christofides, Terminal Services Manager of Hermes Airports, also responsible for facilities and services for people with reduced mobility, as well and the company S & L Airport Services Ltd, who are responsible for the delivery of the services for people with disabilities at Larnaca Airport.

In addition, Kaloyirou highlighted the strong commitment of Hermes Airports to remain dedicated to the efforts for continuous improvement of this sector in providing high quality services to people with mobility problems or disabilities.

Source: Famagusta Gazette 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Comments invited on DGCA's CAR on carriage by Air of Persons with Disabilities. Closing date- 27 June 2016

Dear friends,

This is in continuation to my earlier post [hyperlinked titleSC slaps Rs.10 lakhs fine on Spice Jet for discriminating with a flier with disability dated 08 June 2016.

The Directorate of Civil Aviation has, after Jeeja Ghosh's Supreme Court ruling, has  issued yet another draft Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) on Carriage by Air of Persons with Disabilities and Persons with reduced mobility. The Hon'ble Supreme Court had directed the DGCA to revise the CAR after consulting with civil society to ensure that air travel was non discriminatory and safe for every one. 

Brief Background

After the 2008 CAR, when cases of discrimination related to persons with disabilities did not stop, the  DGCA  set up a Committee under the chairmanship of Shri Asok Kumar, with several representatives from Private and Public Airliners, BCAS, DGCA and the disability sector. The report of Asok Kumar Committee (Oct 2012)  can be found (hyperlink opens).

In response to the Asok Kumar Committee's report,  the DGCA issued a draft CAR in 2013, which was published, after comments from the sector as the DGCA CAR 28 Feb 2014 (hyperlink opens). 

In Jeeja Ghosh's case, the deficiencies between the CAR and the Committee Report were highlighted before the Supreme Court with the efforts of HRLN and thus the Supreme Court directed in the judgement that the CAR be revised. 

The DGCA had made some changes in the CAR such as removing the category of 'incapacitated persons', adding 'Autism' as one of the impairments etc. but there are many issues that are still a major concern for the sector. 

The draft CAR for public comments with a closing date of 27th June 2016 is uploaded on the DGCA's Website (draft opens in hyperlink). You may like to send your comments directly to Shri. Lalit Gupta,  Deputy Director General,  Office of the Director General of Civil Aviation,   Opp. Safdarjung Airport, Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi – 110 003 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Swiss International Airlines website to comply WCAG 2.0 AA Level by end of 2016

Dear Colleagues,

The SWISS International Airlines has announced that while core functions of have been accessible since December 2015 and at the moment, the functions such as booking flights and checking in online are accessible, and comply with level AA of the standards of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. The entire website will comply with this standard by the end of 2016.

The SWISS wants to comply with the requirements of the World Wide Web to ensure that the airline can serve anyone who uses the website regardless of what their impairments or disabilities might be. 

SC slaps Rs.10 lakhs fine on Spice Jet for discriminating with a flier with disability [Judgement Included]

Dear Colleagues,

In a remarkable judgement in a clear case of disability discrimination, a bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and R K Agrawal of Hon'ble Supreme Court has directed the budget airline Spicejet to pay a sum of Rs 10 Lakh (One Million Indian Rupees) as damages to a flyer living with cerebral palsy, who was forcibly offloaded in 2012, saying the manner in which she was de-boarded depicts "total lack of sensitivity".

The apex court noted that the flier with disability Ms. Jeeja Ghosh was not given "appropriate, fair and caring treatment" which she required with "due sensitivity" and the decision to de-board her was "uncalled for".

"On our finding that SpiceJet acted in a callous manner, and in the process violated Rules, 1937 and Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), 2008 guidelines resulting in mental and physical suffering experienced by Ghosh and also unreasonable discrimination against her, we award a sum of Rs 10,00,000 as damages to be payable to her," observed the Bench.

Ms. Ghosh was offloaded from a SpiceJet flight on February 19, 2012 from Kolkata when she was going to attend a conference in Goa hosted by NGO ADAPT (Able Disable All People Together), the second petitioner in the case.

The bench said the decision to offload Ghosh was taken by the airlines without any medical advise or consideration and her condition was not such which required any assistive devices or aids.

"Even if we assume that there was some blood or froth that was noticed to be oozing out from the sides of her mouth when she was seated in the aircraft (though vehemently denied by petitioner), nobody even cared to interact with her and asked her the reason for the same. No doctor was summoned to examine her condition. Abruptly and without any justification, a decision was taken to de-board her without ascertaining as to whether her condition was such which prevented her from flying. This clearly amounts to violation of Rule 133-A of Rules, 1937 and the CAR, 2008 guidelines," the bench said.

Click here for the Judgement WP(C) No. 98/2012 Titled Jeeja Ghosh and Anr Versus Union of India and Others