RESNA's Standards Committee for Assistive Technology for Air Travel (ATAT)
The RESNA Standards Committee on Assistive Technology for Air Travel met face-to-face on October 30, 2019 at Airlines for America (A4A) in Washington, D.C. It is anticiapted the next meeting will be scheduled as a virtual meeting in January 2020. Along with Airline Industry Experts and Disability Organization Representatives, the committee is seeking to recruit Consumers/Caregivers, Government, Mobility Device Manufacturers, Research & Development, Test Labs, Testing Assessment, & Clinical Experts. Meetings are open to anyone; voting on documents requires membership. If you have any questions about the work of this committee or how to get involved, please contact the Chair, Peter Axelson at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
CHAIR: Peter Axelson
Beneficial Designs, Inc.
VICE CHAIR: Ramakant Rambhatla
SECRETARY: Doug Mullen
Airlines for America - A4A
Assistive technologies that have to be stored in the baggage areas on board aircraft are often damaged by the time they are returned to the passenger at their destination. Content for a standardized information card and checklist, labeling, handling procedures, and training are needed to improve the process for the storage and handling of mobility technologies that are required for passengers who are not ambulatory. Design guidelines are needed to encourage manufacturers to manufacture and to educate assistive technology providers, suppliers, seating and mobility specialists, and passengers about selecting mobility devices that have features specific for air travel. The features would make the mobility devices easier to handle during air travel and reduce the likelihood of damage.
Persons with mobility impairments who use manual and powered wheelchairs and other assistive technologies must travel with these technologies if they travel by air. Persons with mobility impairments desire to travel for their jobs and to visit family and friends, just like everyone else. Service personnel typically assist non-ambulatory passengers on and off of aircraft. Non-ambulatory passengers currently have to leave their mobility devices at the door of the aircraft, in the bubble area of passenger boarding bridges, when they board aircraft. Baggage handlers who are employed or contracted by the airlines typically move these mobility devices from the bubble area of passenger boarding bridges to the tarmac and then load them into the baggage storage areas of aircraft. Upon arrival, mobility devices have to be removed from the belly of the aircraft and returned to the bubble area of the passenger boarding bridge where the passenger with the mobility impairment can again use their personal assistive technology to get to their next flight or exit the airport terminal.
For efficient and safe handling and storage of many types of assistive technologies (AT) for passengers with mobility impairments (PWMI) on aircraft, the following will be created: a checklist of the dimensional, performance and instructional information to be physically and/or electronically associated with the AT; procedures and training for the handling of AT; labeling and design specifications for AT suitable for transport in commercial aircraft. Create and disseminate information for PWMI.
Interest categories of stakeholders includes Airline Industry Experts, Consumers/Caregivers, Disability Organization Representatives, Government Representatives, Mobility Device Manufacturers, Research & Development Experts, and Test Labs, Testing Assessment, & Clinical Experts.
If you would like more information on how you can participate, please contact the Chair, Peter Axelson.