Updates to S.1318 - Air Carrier Access Amendments Act of 2017

Post Date:September 24, 2017

Update


The House and Senate versions of the legislation to reauthorization the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) include several provisions similar to those found in the PVA-supported Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (S. 1318).

The 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2997), the House’s version of the FAA Reauthorization, includes four disability-related provisions as passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on June 27. Sections 541, 542, and 543 would establish a select subcommittee on passengers with disabilities to advise the Secretary of Transportation, require a study concerning airport accessibility and air carrier training policies, and mandate research into the feasibility of allowing passengers with disabilities to fly from their wheelchairs. An amendment added during the committee’s markup would also require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to move forward in promulgating rules on service animals, lavatories on single-aisle aircraft, and in-flight entertainment.

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2017 (S. 1405), the Senate’s version of the FAA Reauthorization, would require a study concerning airport accessibility, a determination on the feasibility of using in cabin wheelchair restraint systems, and the creation of an advisory committee on the air travel needs of passengers with disabilities to advise the Secretary of Transportation on implementation of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). The Senate FAA Reauthorization also includes a requirement for airlines to provide wheelchair and scooter information to DOT beginning January 1, 2018. This requirement was delayed by the Department earlier this year. Other provisions added during the committee’s markup include an airline passengers with disabilities bill of rights, increased civil penalties for harm to assistive devices or passengers with disabilities due to ACAA violations, and a requirement for hands on training for those who provide that type of assistance to passengers with disabilities.

Both the House and Senate versions of the FAA Reauthorization are currently pending floor action. We anticipate that disability-related amendments, including those implicating provisions of S. 1318, will be offered as amendments when these bills are considered.

Read the full Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (S. 1318) here.