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February 2006 edition

Disabled passengers must be considered by designers

The European Commission has warned airframers that aircraft designs must better accommodate disabled passengers or risk facing sanctions.

A clause in the European Parliament’s bill of rights on the issue has urged carriers to consider the needs of disabled people and persons with reduced mobility in the design of new and newly refurbished aircraft.

New configurations which could be considered by aircraft manufacturers include several rows of quick-change removable seats in new and retrofit cabin designs.

The new law, due to be in place by late 2007, makes it illegal within the European Union to deny carriage to any disabled person, as long as the carrier is given 48 hours’ notice of the passenger’s needs.

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