September 15, New York – In response to an internationally circulating petition calling on major commercial aircraft manufacturers to make accessibility a priority, Airbus has issued a statement saying the company is
The statement said these ideas relate to wheelchair accessibility.
“Comfort and safety for wheelchair passengers, as well as the risk of wheelchair damages during transport, are challenges we already discuss with airlines–particularly focusing on the feasibility of traveling in a personal wheelchair and/or stowage of the same,” read the statement.
“While we do not have details to release at this time–there are several ideas under review.”
The statement said Airbus was also following a proactive approach to covering a broader range of disabilities and accessibility beyond wheelchair related topics” in consultation with its airline customers, as well as encouraging innovation with universities and start-ups.
Petition organizer, Pekka Paavonpera, a paraplegic since a spinal cord incident at a Massachusetts hospital in 2019, said he had hoped Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury would have weighed in on the subject, but at least the company had responded to the petition.
Last month Boeing Co CEO David Calhoun, issued a statement giving his commitment to the company exploring accessibility for its future produced commercial aircraft.
Paavonpera said at present passengers who have mobility issues are lifted from their wheelchairs at the boarding gate, on and off aisle chairs and into and out of their seats. There have been many documented cases of passengers being injured during this process, and wheelchairs being damaged when loaded as luggage.
“This has gone on for decades and the time for action is now.” he said.
The petition on-line link is https://chng.it/DpdHd7VMRZ .
Paavonpera said the petition will continue collecting signatures so as to show Boeing and Airbus that there is a real need and an urgency for accessibility, and that both companies should introduce this before being required to do so through legislation. He said a timeline was needed from both companies as to when accessibility will be a standard feature on their new and refurbished aircraft.
Caption 1 – Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO.
Caption 2 – At present passengers with mobility issues are lifted from their wheelchairs at the boarding gate, on and off aisle chairs and into and out of their seats.
For further information please contact Pekka Paavonpera on 1-631-680-7585 (call or text) or at [email protected].