Wheelchair airport image

The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) is calling on all manufacturers and importers to send updated product information for inclusion into its mobility products database, a key resource used by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Requiring constant updating, the mobility products database is accessed by the CAA to keep airport ground handling teams and airlines up to date with important information relating to mobility equipment.

Steve Perry, Marketing and Communications Manager at the BHTA, told THIIS: “This information is critical for helping to make disabled travel as safe and comfortable for disabled passengers as possible.”

“The data that is collected on our database is critical to the ground handling teams at airports for the safe carriage, stowage and handling of mobility products prior to transportation in the planes hold.”

Unable to take mobility aids such as wheelchairs and powerchairs into the cabin of planes, travellers with disabilities and mobility problems are instead required to put these into the hold.

This has led to instances of devices being mishandled, damaged and lost by ground staff at airports and a sense of dread for disabled passengers handing over their sometimes-sole means of mobility.

Recently, the difficulties facing disabled passengers made headlines when BBC journalist Frank Gardner was forced to wait two hours after his flight landing into Heathrow due to his wheelchair being misplaced.

In response, the BHTA is working in collaboration with campaigner Chris Wood of Flying Disabled and Graham Race of the QEF Tryb4uFly along with a number of mobility companies to help tackle the issues.

According to the Association, the information provided will help minimise flight delays and ensure the product is made safe for carriage, allowing for a smoother airport experience for disabled travellers, their family and carers.

Calling on both members and non-members of the Association that manufacturers or imports mobility products into the UK, the BHTA says companies should contact Charlie Lawrence at charlie.lawrence@bhta.com for details on how to submit.

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