The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has outlined how it wants to work with the global mobility industry to become more accessible.
As part of its plan, it wants to bring the industry together from around the world and come up with an ‘agreed and standardised’ procedure for airlines to follow when passengers have mobility and accessibility needs.
Speaking at its Geneva-based HQ, IATA detailed how it hopes the work can allow for certain mobility equipment to be made as standard meaning all airlines can become more accessible for a wider cohort of passengers no matter where they are travelling.
Linda Ristagno, manager of external affairs at IATA said there is a lot of work to do when it comes to mobility aids and specifically wheelchairs, but believes addressing it as an industry is the way to overcome the current difficulties.
She explains: “There is a lot of work at IATA in regards to wheelchairs. The damage rate of mobility aids is an important topic, the industry wants to address it and we are doing that. The damage events can be a painful event for a passenger, the mobility aid is an extension to their bodies.”
In outlining the problems that currently exist, Ristagno and IATA are keen to not just stop here, but want to go on to address the issue and come up with a solution.
She continues: “We have developed some guidance in regards to the safe and secure loading of mobility aids into the cargo hold. We realised that we need to improve the handling practices and to create new standards for mobility aids.”
It was clear to understand that IATA believes a level of certified standardisation will be key to moving forward.
Ristagno adds: “There is also work to encourage certification in respect of the design of mobility aids that are fit for air travel and fit to be loaded in the cargo hold. This will be a key working area in the years to come.”