At The Airport

Airport Accessibility 
Until recently, only those airport facilities designed, constructed, or renovated by or for a recipient of federal funds had to comply with federal accessibility standards. Even at federally-assisted airports, not all facilities and activities were required to be accessible. Examples are privately-owned ground transportation and concessions selling goods or services to the public.
As a result of the Air Carrier Access rules, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and implementing regulations, these privately-owned facilities must also be made accessible.
In general, airports under construction or being refurbished must comply with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) and other regulations governing accessibility in accordance with a timetable established in the ADA. Thus, while there are still many changes to be made, the accessibility of most airports is improving.
With few exceptions, the following services should be available in all air carrier terminals within the next few years:

* Accessible parking near the terminal;
* Signs indicating accessible parking and the easiest access from those spaces to the terminal;
* Accessible medical aid facilities and travelers aid stations;
* Accessible restrooms;
* Accessible drinking fountains;
* Accessible ticketing systems at primary fare collection areas;
* Amplified telephones and text telephones (TTs) for use by persons with hearing and speech impairments (there must be at least one TT in each terminal in a clearly marked accessible location);
* Accessible baggage check-in and retrieval areas;
* Jetways and mobile lounges that are accessible (at airports that have such facilities);
* Level entry boarding ramps, lifts or other means of assisting an individual with a disability on and off an aircraft;
* Information systems using visual words, letters or symbols with lighting and color coding, and systems for providing information orally;
* Signs indicating the location of specific facilities and services.

Moving Through the Airport
To make travel easier for an individual with a disability, major airports will be required to make the following services accessible under new rules being put into effect in the next several years:

* Shuttle vehicles, owned or operated by airports, transporting people between parking lots and terminal buildings;

* People movers and moving walkways within and between terminals and gates.

All carrier facilities must currently include one accessible route from an airport entrance to ticket counters, boarding locations and baggage handling areas. These routes must minimize any extra distance that wheelchair users must travel compared to other passengers to reach these facilities. Outbound and inbound baggage facilities must provide efficient baggage handling for individuals with a disability, and these facilities must be designed and operated so as to be accessible. There must be appropriate signs to indicate the location of accessible services.

Carriers cannot restrict the movements of persons with disabilities in terminals or require them to remain in a holding area or other location while awaiting transportation and other assistance.
Curbside baggage check-in (available only for domestic flights) may be helpful to passengers with a disability.

Passenger Information 
Carriers must ensure that individuals with disabilities, including those with vision and hearing impairments, have timely access to the same information provided to other passengers, including (but not limited to) information on:

* ticketing;
* scheduled departure times and gates;
* change of gate assignments;
* status of flight delays;
* schedule changes;
* flight check-in;
* checking and claiming of luggage.
This information must be made available upon request. A crew member is not required to interrupt his or her immediate safety duties to supply such information.
A copy of the Air Carrier Access rules must be made available by carriers for inspection upon request at each airport.
As previously noted, any carrier that provides telephone service for the purpose of making reservations or offering general information shall also provide TT service. This service for people with speech and hearing impairments must be available during the same hours that the general public has access to regular phone service, with equivalent response times and charges.

Medical Certificates 

A medical certificate is a written statement from the passenger’s physician saying that the passenger is capable of completing the flight safely without requiring extraordinary medical care.
A disability is not sufficient grounds for a carrier to request a medical certificate.
Carriers shall not require passengers to present a medical certificate unless the person:
* Is on a stretcher or in an incubator (where such service is offered);
* Needs medical oxygen during flight (where such service is offered);
* Has a medical condition which causes the carrier to have reasonable doubt that the individual can complete the flight safely, without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight; or
* Has a communicable disease or infection that has been determined by federal public health authorities to be generally transmittable during flight.
If the medical certificate is necessitated by a communicable disease (see next section), it must say that the disease or infection will not be communicable to other persons during the normal course of flight, or it shall state any conditions or precautions that would have to be observed to prevent transmission of the disease or infection to others.
Carriers cannot mandate separate treatment for an individual with a disability except for reasons of safety or to prevent the spread of a communicable disease or infection.

Communicable Diseases 
As part of their responsibility to their passengers, air carriers try to prevent the spread of infection or a communicable disease on board an aircraft. If a person who seeks passage has an infection or disease that would be transmittable during the normal course of a flight, and that has been deemed so by a federal public health authority knowledgeable about the disease or infection, then the carrier may:
* Refuse to provide transportation to the person;
* Require the person to provide a medical certificate stating that the disease at its current stage would not be transmittable during the normal course of flight, or describing measures which would prevent transmission during flight;
* Impose on the person a condition or requirement not imposed on other passengers (.e.g., wearing a mask).
If the individual has a contagious disease but presents a medical certificate describing conditions or precautions that would prevent the transmission of the disease during the flight, the carrier shall provide transportation unless it is not feasible to act upon the

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