Airport Terminals

Air Carrier Compliance Regulations

Airports must follow the regulations outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Compliance includes the the following:

  • Easily accessible relief areas designated for those departing, arriving, or connecting on flights accompanied by a trained service animal
  • Airport must ensure accessible inter-terminal transportation, including but not limited to, moving sidewalks, shuttle vehicles and other people movers
  • Facilities must have air transportation access for people with disabilities between gates and aircraft, at loading bridges, and passenger lounges
  • Media must include high contrast captioning communication, flight information, entertainment, and safety briefings with current and accurate information for those with visual or hearing impairments
  • Carriers must ensure passengers with disabilities can readily use all terminal facilities, both owned and leased, including those provided by foreign carriers
  • Kiosks throughout the airport must be made accessible to those travelers using wheelchairs

ADA Accessibility and the Airport

Holiday travel is stressful enough without the added challenge of wheelchair access. ADA access at the airport is an important topic as we enter the chaotic holiday travel season. Here are a few key factors to keep in mind when traveling:

Airport Accessibility Challenges

With a wide array of challenges including large crowds, long walks, time constraints, and elevated noise levels; airports present no shortage of accessibility issues. In order to meet the needs of all travelers, airport executives and other personnel must become more aware of the issues that exist and must then work to eliminate them.

What Types of Buildings Must Be in ADA Compliance?

A building in compliance with the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) means a person with a disability is able to access all needed services. Let’s look at what types of buildings are included in the ADA by imagining a vacation trip to Washington, D.C. This trip can demonstrate examples of the types of buildings that are required to meet ADA compliance in three categories: everyday activities, vacation travel, and government.

As you travel: Airport Terminals

The wheelchair and the airplane need to be accessible, so look for: Is there an accessible loading zone with signage? Is there accessible parking with signage? Are there accessible message boards? Are the ticket counters accessible? Are there boarding counters accessible? Is there accessible seating in the boarding area? Are there assistive listening systems in boarding areas? Are there accessible toilets?  Is there an accessible boarding ramp with a running slope of 8.3% maximum?  Is there...