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Accessibility

Improving accessibility and inclusion in air travel

Elderly female passenger sitting on wheelchair awaiting to be boarded into a flight at an airport terminal gate.
Photo: Lifestock

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) concluded its inaugural Global Accessibility Symposium in Dubai, the first event of its kind seeking to improve the air travel experience for passengers with disabilities, hosted by Emirates.

“This event showed that collaboration and feedback are crucial. Through this gathering and other initiatives, airlines are seeking to establish a better dialogue between industry, advocacy groups and passengers themselves. While the industry has had standards for persons traveling with disabilities for some time, we realize there are still gaps and we need to do more. We’re excited to be on this journey to make air travel more accessible and inclusive,” said Linda Ristagno, External Affairs Manager at IATA.

The event featured keynotes and panel discussions that addressed a wide variety of accessibility and inclusion topics.

The findings and results of this event will be used to build upon the existing IATA accessibility strategy that will lead to clear deliverables, while continuing the dialogue with passengers, airports and governments.

“It is a step in the right direction, but the work isn’t done. We will continue to facilitate the discussion and refine the industry strategy from here. However, we need governments to help by developing harmonized regulations, in consultation with industry and accessibility groups, that provide clarity and global consistency. Working together will help ensure a safe, reliable and dignified experience that we owe to these passengers,” said Ristagno.

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