Centerlines - December 2009 - (Page 10)

POLICY CORNER ACI-NA Provides Expertise to Federal Agencies Responsible for People with Disabilities Programs “When flying, accessibility is an intricate web involving air carriers, advocacy organizations, aircraft manufacturers, airports, and the federal government.” – Venture AIRPORT MANAGERS KNOW that this quote is an understatement for the complex operations at airports, where a “web” of evolving laws and regulations distributes accessibility responsibilities among airport operators, airline operators, airport tenants, ground transportation providers, and others. To further complicate matters, this mix of responsibility for accessibility varies from airport to airport. Even as I write, federal agencies are studying and drafting accessibility requirements that would be the responsibility of the airport operator. Where does the life begin for this web of laws and regulations? The majority begin within two small and little known independent federal agencies: National Council on Disability and U.S. Access Board. Created in 1978, the National Council on Disability promotes equal opportunity policies, programs, practices, and procedures for individuals with disabilities. Created in 1973, the U.S. Access Board is devoted to accessibility and accessible design for people with disabilities. With the publication in May 2008 of the transportation department’s revised accessibility regulations under the Air Carrier Access Act, the focus of both the boards is shifting to air transportation. Fortunately, ACI-NA has been participating in meetings conducted by the boards. This has led to the Access Board acknowledging the complexity of the airport environment and inviting ACINA to work with the board in drafting future documents. The National Council on Disability also has invited ACI-NA to participate in its public meetings. These two agencies are reviewing best practices to improve accessibility to ticketing kiosks, public address announcements and visual displays, wayfi nding, parking, passenger dropoff areas, baggage claim, boarding bridges, and screening checkpoints. In addition, officials are drafting regulations that would make airports jointly responsible with airlines for providing relief areas for service animals. The Department of Justice has revised fi nal rules for the Americans with Disabilities Act and the adoption of the Access Board’s 2004 ADA Accessibility Guidelines; however, the fi nal rule was withdrawn by President Obama for further review. Government regulations require current airport projects to comply with only the 1996 rules; however, they recommend that airports designing future projects work to assure the highest degree of access for people with disabilities. While the regulations may be changing and there is uncertainty, be assured that ACI-NA will ensure that the unique issues faced by airports in accommodating individuals with disabilities are understood and appreciated. ■ JAMES I. BRIGGS JR. VICE PRESIDENT, LEGAL ACI-NA WEBLINKS • static/entransit/General%20 Session%208%20-%20 Norma%20Essary.pdf • entransit/Eric_Lipp.pdf • civilrights/civil_rights_2360.html 10 CENTERLINES | DECEMBER 2009 PM 421334_DeTect.indd 1 3/17/09 3:10:35

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Centerlines - December 2009

Centerlines - December 2009
Table of Contents
President's Message
Canadian Airports
Associates' Corner
Policy Corner
Training Center
On the Hill and On the Stump
Cover Story: Time to Look Ahead
Griesbach Concessions Award Winners
Passenger Focus: Enabling the Disabled
Environment: Sustainable Aviation Guidance Alliance
Now Underway
New Members
Index of Advertisers/
Box Scores

Centerlines - December 2009