A new bill that would strengthen accommodations for wheelchair users who fly was unanimously approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee earlier this month.

The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act was introduced June 9 by some Democrat and Republican members of the House. If passed, the bill would result in major improvements in wheelchair accessibility aboard flights, Paralyzed Veterans of America National President Charles Brown said.

“Some of these provisions [in the bill] include training requirements for assisting passengers with limited mobility and properly stowing assistive devices; improving the Department of Transportation’s complaint process; and addressing the need for more access standards,” he said in a statement.

“The bill also requires continued study into safe and secure in-cabin wheelchair restraint systems; and for the Department of Transportation to perform a more in-depth analysis of mishandled wheelchairs as reported by airlines,” Brown added.

The legislation also would reauthorize the Air Carrier Access Act Advisory Committee, which would include a focus on the needs of passengers with disabilities during evacuations.

The bill was introduced by House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves (R-LA) and Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-TN)

In May, Cohen was part of a group of four lawmakers introducing another bill aimed at improving the air travel experience for people with disabilities.

The Mobility Aids on Board Improve Lives and Empower All Act was introduced in both the Senate and the House. If passed, it would require the Transportation Department to publicly report on the type and amount of damage that occurs to wheelchairs and other mobility devices on flights.

As with the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, this bill also would require the department to research the viability of allowing passengers to board a flight directly in their wheelchair, instead of having to be transferred from their wheelchair and into a seat.

“Many people with disabilities use personalized, custom wheelchairs in their daily lives, and damage to them can cost a fortune to fix,” said Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN), who along with Cohen and US Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and John Thune (R-SD) introduced the bicameral legislation.

“This legislation will bring more transparency to the experience of wheelchair users during air travel and further study accessibility challenges. This is yet another step towards making air travel as safe and comfortable as possible for all passengers.”


To continue reading click on the Read full story button below. 


Find an Elder Law or Special Needs Law Attorney


Thank you for visiting the blog of the Ohio Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. We hope you find the resources and information you need, whether you are looking for an attorney to represent you or are an Ohio attorney interested in joining our organization. We are the leaders in serving attorneys who specialize in serving the needs of older adults and disabled individuals.

Do you need an attorney to handle your Estate Planning, Probate, Special Needs, or Medicaid/Medicare issues? Find a qualified member of the Ohio Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys in the Ohio NAELA Directory.