Accessible Lavatories On Aircraft

DOT Issues New Accessible Lavatory Rule for Single-Aisle Planes

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a new rule that will require accessible lavatories on larger single-aisle aircraft, a long-awaited move celebrated by disability advocates.

The rule mandates that new single-aisle planes with 125 or more passenger seats must have at least one wheelchair-accessible lavatory. This lavatory must accommodate a passenger in an onboard wheelchair behind a closed door.

The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) has advocated for decades to require accessible lavatories on single-aisle planes just as they are mandated on twin-aisle aircraft. PVA participated in 2016 negotiations that laid the groundwork for this rule.

While the 2016 agreement gave airlines 20 years to comply, DOT has now shortened that timeframe to 10-12 years in the final rule. PVA applauds this acceleration that will ensure travelers have access to accessible lavatories sooner.

The rule also sets standards for onboard wheelchairs, including padded seats, arm supports, proper height, and wheel locks. Additionally, flight attendants must be trained to assist passengers using the chairs.

This milestone rule will significantly improve accessibility and dignity for travelers with disabilities. PVA and advocates celebrate this major achievement in aircraft accessibility after persistence and reasoned compromise finally paid off.

Read the full Air Carrier Act amendment

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