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Chair writes to CEOs of airlines and airports

The Chair of the Disability Royal Commission, the Hon Ronald Sackville AO KC, has written to the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Australia’s airlines and domestic airports outlining concerns people with disability have reported to the Royal Commission based on their experiences with air travel.

In November last year, the Royal Commission organised two workshops focused on those experiences. Over 60 participants attended the sessions, including Paralympian Karni Liddell, journalist Zoe Simmons and representatives from disability representative organisations. People with disability reported that they often encounter inaccessible facilities and services at airports and face unhelpful practices and systems adopted by airlines.

The Chair’s letter to CEOs includes suggestions made by people with disability at the workshops to ensure that airlines and domestic airports provide a more inclusive experience for all air travellers. 

The Chair said:

“The Royal Commission’s terms of reference require us to investigate how Australia can promote a more inclusive society for people with disability,

The letters summarise the views expressed by people with disability at the workshops.  The summaries are not findings or authoritative statements by the Royal Commission, but they indicate that people with disability often experience avoidable challenges when travelling by air and that more can be done by airlines and domestic airports to address those challenges.

The experiences of people with disability include damage to wheelchairs not rectified by airlines, being dropped on the floor because the hoist that accommodates wheelchairs is not used correctly, limited access to safe ramps and discrimination against people who rely on assistance dogs.”

The Royal Commission hopes that the information and suggestions provided by people with disability will be given careful consideration by the CEOs of Australia’s major airlines and airports.

Please direct all inquiries to the Disability Royal Commission media team on 0436 841 166 or via our email