The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority has warned it will sanction airlines as well as industry players who fail to comply with new revisions to the provisions for the carriage by air of disabled persons.
The new revisions which took effect on January 2, 2016 are geared towards ensuring that persons with disability get the right treatment and services in the aviation industry.
Prior to the revision of the rules industry players had warned persons with disability in most cases were not given the right treatment.
The revised law is expected to cover all persons with any form of disability.
Under the revised law a broad area of persons have been roped in including persons with visual, speech, and hearing impairments.
Also persons with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, drug addiction, and alcoholism have also been placed under the revised law.
The directive is to apply to all Ghanaian registered Air Carriers, Airport Operators, Ground Handlers, Security Profiling firms, Immigration, Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division), Tenant Restricted Area Operators, Restaurant Operators and all other service providers at airports serving civil aviation.
Meanwhile aircraft operators per the revised law cannot refuse to transport persons with disabilities on the basis of their disabilities except for safety requirements as specified in the Ghana Civil Aviation (Safety) Regulations, LI 2000.
In addition to the provisions captured in the Ghana Civil Aviation (Safety) Regulations, LI 2000, Airline and Aircraft Operators may refuse carriage of Persons with Disabilities for the following reasons:
(i) If the size of the aircraft or its doors makes the embarkation or carriage of that person with disability or person with reduced mobility physically impossible.
(ii) If the medical condition of the person with disability endangers the health and safety of the cabin crew and other passengers.
(iii) Where the person with disability is not accompanied by an attendant and would require an unreasonable level of assistance from the cabin crew.
Meanwhile, implementation of provisions with respect to the reconfiguration of aircrafts to suit disabled persons will take off in December this year.