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IATA: Air Sector Needs to Work on Inclusivity
Air Transport

IATA: Air Sector Needs to Work on Inclusivity

Emirates sponsored symposium sees IATA create new vision for sector

TLME News Service

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) concluded its inaugural Global Accessibility Symposium by stating that the air sector needs to focus more on inclusivity in order to grow and develop.

Hosted by Emirates in their home city of Dubai, the Symposium welcomed guests from airlines, regulators and accessibility advocacy groups.

Linda Ristagno, External Affairs Manager at IATA, said: "This event showed that collaboration and feedback are crucial.

“Through this gathering and other initiatives, airlines are seeking to establish a better dialogue between industry, advocacy groups and passengers themselves.

“While the industry has had standards for persons traveling with disabilities for some time, we realize there are still gaps and we need to do more. We're excited to be on this journey to make air travel more accessible and inclusive."

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In addition to speakers from airlines including British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates and WestJet, presenters came from a wide variety of backgrounds such as regulatory bodies like the UK CAA, Canadian Transport Agency and Brazilian Ministry of Infrastructure.

The event featured keynotes and panel discussions that addressed a wide variety of accessibility and inclusion topics. Some of the key issues raised during the Symposium included:

  • Global policy consistency needed for work on accessibility and inclusion in aviation including airline/ground processes and government regulation
  • Better understanding needed for the requirements of travelers with hidden disabilities
  • Improved and standardized processes needed to streamline handling of mobility aids as the damage rate is too high
  • The importance of training was recognized, especially for passenger-facing roles, to ensure inclusive, empathetic and human-centric service is delivered to travelers with disabilities
  • Inconsistencies in security policies across airports and states for passenger with disabilities need to be addressed

The findings and results of the event will be used to build upon the existing IATA accessibility strategy that will lead to clear deliverables, while continuing the dialogue with passengers, airports and governments, according to IATA.

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