Should airplanes be accessible to and accommodate people with disabilities?

Awaiting Vote
Bill Summary

This bill focuses on air travel rights for people with disabilities. Primarily, it requires all new airplanes to meet the required accessibility standards so those with disabilities can easily board the plane, view in-flight announcements, have comfortable seating, access to the bathroom, and seamless storage options. The bill also establishes that all existing planes must remove any current access barriers. Sponsor: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Democrat, Wisconsin)
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Opponents say

•     "Stacy Day, a spokesperson for American Airlines, told NPR that the new rule, which bars wheelchairs that weigh more than 300 pounds from the smaller regional jets, was a safety issue — to meet the cargo requirements of the aircraft. "We do everything we can to safely accommodate mobility devices across our operation," the spokesperson wrote. "Each aircraft type has specific cargo floor weight and door dimension restrictions that are established by the aircraft manufacturer.""

Source: Stacy Day (American Airlines)

•   "Manufacturers must demonstrate that any seat or locking device would meet all FAA seat certification regulations, including being able to withstand a force of 16G in the event of a crash."

Source: Emma Duncan (Federal Aviation Administration)

Proponents say

    "We need to break down the barriers that individuals with disabilities face when they travel. Equal access to air travel for individuals with disabilities is about fairness and freedom. This legislation will enhance the rights and safety of airline passengers with disabilities, including our veterans."

Source: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Democrat, Wisconsin) 

•    "Although we have made progress in the last 35 years to address barriers in plane travel for people with disabilities, I know personally that challenges remain. It’s past time we update the standard of air travel and make services more inclusive and responsive to individual needs. This critical legislation presents an opportunity to build upon the Air Carrier Access Act by improving accessibility, enhancing assistance, and ensuring greater civil rights protections."

Source: Rep. Jim Langevin (Democrat, Rhode Island, District 2) 

  "People with disabilities shouldn’t have to face extra obstacles when they travel. This legislation will help make our airports and airplanes more accessible and accommodating for all."

Source: Rep. Dina Titus (Democrat, Nevada, District 1)