Ghana updates law on carriage by air of Persons with Reduced Mobility

PRM Update
The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority is updating its current law on Carriage by Air of Persons with Disability.

The proposed “Technical Directive on the Handling of Persons with Disabilities" is to update or supplement existing provisions in the GCCA (Safety) Regulations, L.I. 2000, with regard to persons with reduced mobility.

The new provisions are being introduced in view of obligations imposed by local statutes, as well as current procedures and policies outlined by ICAO, and will apply to all Ghanaian registered air carriers, airport operators, ground handlers, security providing firms, immigration, the Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division), Tenant Restricted Area operators, restaurant operators and all other service providers at airports serving civil aviation.
Under the terms of the Technical Directive, it will be obligatory to provide accessible air travel and seamless (i.e. professional) service to PRMs at their request, including a safe and uninterrupted journey and the provision of assistance that is adapted to the needs of each individual traveller. At no point should such travellers be left stranded or without assistance.

According to Clause 2.1 of the Technical Directive, all procedures forming part of an air travel journey, including reservations, check in, immigration and customs, security clearances, transfers within airports, embarkation and disembarkation, departure, carriage and arrival shall be adapted to the needs of the PRM in order to facilitate clearance and air transport in a dignified manner. For this reason, under the revised Directive, aircraft operators are required to improve the accessibility of new aircraft and those undergoing refurbishment by making design choices and incorporating design features that are PRM-friendly, such as aircraft type, size and configuration.
Additionally aircraft shall be equipped with accessible washrooms, tactile signage, colour contrasting and ease-of-use of handles, taps and other controls. PRMs will be able to use on-board wheelchairs in order to access the accessible washroom with privacy.

PRMs requesting special assistance are required under the Technical Directive to inform the aircraft operator or travel agent of their needs at the time of booking of a flight or as early as possible in advance of the flight. Aircraft operators are not to refuse to transport PRMs on the basis of their disabilities, except in exceptional circumstances relating to safety requirements, as specified by the GCCA (Safety) Regulations, L.I. 2000.
AS aircraft operators are not required to provide personal care assistance to PRMs, the Directive makes it mandatory for such persons to travel with assistance, placing the onus on an aircraft operator to determine whether or not the PRM requires assistance from an attendant (on medical grounds). Should the PRM object to the assessment, he or she shall provide an authentic Fit-to-Travel Certificate from a registered Medical Practitioner.

On a final note, the Technical Directive will also ensure services are provided for PRMs to make complaints about the level and quality of service should they feel it necessary.

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