Parliamentary questions
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20 December 2010

Question for oral answer O-0217/2010

to the Commission

Rule 115

Ádám Kósa, Artur Zasada, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Danuta Maria Hübner, Piotr Borys, Bogusław Sonik, Krzysztof Lisek, Joachim Zeller, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Jan Olbrycht, Małgorzata Handzlik, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa, Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Filip Kaczmarek, Tadeusz Zwiefka, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Andrzej Grzyb, Jan Kozłowski, Rafał Trzaskowski, Jacek Protasiewicz, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, László Tőkés, Béla Glattfelder, Lívia Járóka, Zoltán Bagó, Edit Bauer, László Surján, Csaba Sógor, András Gyürk, Kinga Gál, Iuliu Winkler, János Áder, Tamás Deutsch, Csaba Őry, Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, György Schöpflin, Alajos Mészáros, József Szájer

  Subject: Accurate information for parents and elderly passengers travelling by air

As far as legislation is concerned, air transport is the sector in which passengers have the most extensive range of rights. The legislation applicable to air transport includes a specific Regulation ((EC) No 1107/2006) concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air. The principles guaranteed by this regulation include accessibility, non-discrimination, assistance and the right to information in accessible formats.

Unfortunately, however, the number of passengers who are actually aware of their rights is far from satisfactory. Although disabled people mostly know about their rights, older people and mothers or fathers travelling alone with young children (i.e. people whose mobility is reduced owing to their age) are far less aware.

Attention needs to be drawn to the fact that the same symbol (a person in a wheelchair on a blue background) is used to indicate facilities – such as information points, toilets and lifts – which are for use by disabled people and those with reduced mobility. People with reduced mobility often think that the facilities concerned are for use by disabled people only. Airport employees tend to come to the same conclusion, which explains why they fail to act. Clearly, passengers are basing their interpretation of their rights on the symbol, rather than on the content of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006. The graphic symbol currently in use applies to only some of the individuals who are entitled to assistance under the regulation.

In the light of the above, does the Commission not take the view that a new symbol should be proposed for use in all EU airports, representing a person with reduced mobility clearly recognisable as such by elderly people and by mothers and fathers travelling alone with young children? Does the Commission not think that the regulation’s title should mention mothers and fathers with small children, along with elderly passengers?

Tabled: 20.12.2010

Forwarded: 4.1.2011

Deadline for reply: 11.1.2011

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