Duma passes bill on airline access for the disabled
MOSCOW, May 16 (RAPSI) - The State Duma on Wednesday adopted a bill that ensures people with disabilities unimpeded access to air services. The bill was adopted in the third reading.
The bill, which does not allow airlines to refuse to board wheelchair-bound passengers due the lack of the proper equipment, was submitted to the lower house by a group of deputies in July 2011. The amendments to be made to the Air Code will expand the rights of people with disabilities and limited mobility at airports and on planes, United Russia Deputy Dmitry Sablin said commenting on the new legislation.
According to the bill, tour operators and carriers are no longer allowed to request medical documents confirming their health status from people with disabilities while booking their flights, Sablin said.
The amendments obligate both airports and airlines to render additional services such as escorting people with disabilities and assisting them with navigation inside the airports, check-in and baggage handling, and security checks. They will be required to provide wheelchairs and other services based on the federal air services rules.
All the equipment purchase costs are to be met by the airline, said Mikhail Terentyev, deputy chairman of the State Duma committee on labor, social policy and veterans' affairs. "In short, any company that renders a service should ensure that this service is accessible without discrimination," he said.