In April 2008 the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government released the Issues Paper: Towards a National Aviation Policy Statement. The Issues Paper sought comment on a broad range of issues currently facing the airline industry, governments and stakeholders. PIAC’s response is limited to those issues relevant to people with disability including consumer protection, compliance with Disability Standards and security issues.PIAC’s submission draws heavily on PIAC’s previous reports: Flight Closed: Report on the experiences of People with Disabilities in Domestic Airline Travel in Australia (2007) and Flight Still Closed? Response to the Review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport: Draft Report (2008). PIAC begins by making the point that while the Issues Paper considers the emergence of low cost airlines means that air travel is accessible to more people than ever, in fact people with disability now find it more difficult to fly. For example, restrictions on the transport of wheelchairs and the application of independent travel criteria are constant barriers. PIAC also provides comment on the inadequacy of the Transport Standards and particular issues for people with disability arising from the security screening process.
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