The Launch of EU Inclusive Skies Regulations

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From the European Disability Forum (EDF):

Brussels, 26 July 2006 – “It took us more than three years to obtain this important piece of legislation and I would like to congratulate all those that have actively contributed to make it happen. The European Union has taken an important step forward to advance disability rights in Europe, but we need to continue to work together in order to overcome the current gaps of the Regulation”, said today Yannis Vardakastanis, President of the European Disability Forum.

The overall aim of the Regulation is to guarantee equal treatment for all passengers, including ‘any person with reduced mobility or sensory impairment, intellectual disability or any other cause of disability, age, and whose situation needs appropriate attention and the adaptation to his or her particular needs of the service made available to all passengers’.


Only articles 3 (‘Prevention of refusal of carriage’) and 4 (‘Derogations, special conditions and information’) of the new Regulation enter into force today. The entire Regulation, which is directly applicable to European airports and airlines, will be totally effective in one year.

For the European Disability Forum, the umbrella organisation representing the interests of 50 million disabled people in the European Union that has lobbied the European union in favour of the Regulation, there is still room for improvement:

We are worried that the exceptions established in Article 4 will be used to continue discriminating disabled air passengers. If we want the Regulation to be effective, the safety reasons that allow to deny the boarding of a disabled person need to be clarified”, said Vardakastanis.

According to the Regulation, an airline can still refuse the boarding of a disabled passenger due to ‘Safety reasons established by national, Community or International law’. “We need the European Union to clearly define these exceptions and to agree on common safety reasons across Europe. Otherwise, a disabled passenger might be allowed to travel to a Member State applying certain rules, but not to come back!”, stressed EDF President.

EDF campaign on air passengers’ rights will therefore target the adoption of common safety rules in Europe, as well as the wide dissemination of the provisions of the law. The EDF will also concentrate its efforts to improve the Regulation, as well as to obtain similar legislation for all forms of transport.

EDF President: “Disabled people have new rights and they must apply them. It is important to inform them and to encourage them to complain if these rights are violated anywhere in Europe. This will ensure better quality for all passengers, with and without disabilities”.


For more information, please visit EDF webpage: http://www.edf-feph.org/en/policy/transport/trans_pol.htm


The text of the Regulation can be downloaded from:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/en/oj/2006/l_204/l_20420060726en00010009.pdf

For more information, please contact: Helena González-Sancho Bodero, EDF Communication and Press Officer; Tel office: (+ 32 2) 282 46 04; E-mail: communication@edf-feph.org


The European Disability Forum (EDF) is the European umbrella organisation representing the interests of 50 million disabled citizens in Europe. EDF membership includes national umbrella organisations of disabled people from all EU/EEA countries, as well as European NGOs representing the different types of disabilities. The mission of the European Disability Forum is to ensure disabled people full access to fundamental and human rights through their active involvement in policy development and implementation in Europe.

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