The advocacy group All Wheels Up thinks you should be able to stay in your wheelchair while you are flying, if that’s your preference. To reach this goal, the nonprofit is pushing for federal legislation to allow it, and also will begin crash testing wheelchairs to ensure flying while seated in one is safe.
First, the Legislation
The Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act is wending its way through Congress, and this time around it contains four amendments addressing the disability community. One of those would require the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, in consultation with the DOT, to study how wheelchair users, both manual and power, could be accommodated with in-cabin restraints.
“We need everyone who uses a wheelchair or cares about someone who does to know about this bill,” said All Wheels Up Founder Michele Erwin. “If they want to fly in the safety of their wheelchairs, or want wheelchair accessible golf carts for gate transfers (another one of our projects), they need to reach out to their congressperson, tell them about this bill.”