Paralyzed Veterans of America Responds to House Passage of Long-Term FAA Reauthorization Bill

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 General News
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WASHINGTON, May 1, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) issued the following

statement today in response to an overwhelming vote in the U.S. House of Representatives that passed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 4). The bill, if passed into law, includes provisions that would make much needed reforms to air travel concerns
for passengers with disabilities.

"The number one complaint that we receive from our members about any issue, even more than complications in accessing VA health care, is about the problems they consistently experience in air travel," said Carl Blake, a service-disabled Army veteran and executive director of Paralyzed Veterans. "The message this bipartisan vote sends is that difficulties travelers with disabilities encounter in air travel are finally being recognized as an urgent need to be addressed in America."

H.R. 4, as amended, includes several provisions that are similar to those found in the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (H.R. 5004) introduced by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) earlier this year. Some of the Paralyzed Veterans' supported provisions in H.R. 4 include the development of an airline passengers with disabilities bill of rights and increased civil penalties for harm to passengers with disabilities or their wheelchairs.

The Senate's FAA reauthorization legislation is still pending and will likely come to the floor later in May or June. As passed out of Committee last June, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2017 (S. 1405) would require a study concerning airport accessibility, a determination on the feasibility of using in cabin wheelchair restraint systems, and the creation of an advisory committee on the air travel needs of passengers with disabilities to advise the Secretary of Transportation on implementation of the ACAA. The current FAA authorization expires at the end of September.

"Paralyzed Veterans will continue to support efforts to prohibit discrimination based on disability in air travel. We now call on the U.S. Senate to take up its FAA bill so that the air travel needs of people with disabilities will be addressed in this Congress," said Blake.

About Paralyzed Veterans

Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For more than 70 years, we have ensured that veterans have received the benefits earned through their service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.

As a partner for life, Paralyzed Veterans also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation and advocates for veterans and all people with disabilities. With more than 70 offices and 33 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans serves veterans, their families and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

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SOURCE Paralyzed Veterans of America

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