Requests for wheelchair assistance grew 30% between 2016 and 2017 according to IATA. Airlines and airports know they need to improve their operations as well as consider assistance for passengers who are mobile but have difficulty getting around airports. The first industry event on this topic was held in November 2019 in Dubai . Here are some of the issues they are attempting to address:
- Global policy consistency needed for work on accessibility and inclusion in aviation including airline/ground processes and government regulation
- Better understanding needed for the requirements of travellers with hidden disabilities
- Improved and standardised processes needed to streamline handling of mobility aids as the damage rate is too high
- The importance of training was recognised, especially for passenger-facing roles, to ensure inclusive, empathetic and human-centric service is delivered to travellers with disabilities
- Inconsistencies in security policies across airports and states for passenger with disabilities need to be addressed
You can also see the IATA Resolution on Passengers with Disabilities.