FAA Advisory Circular Outlines Airport Access Requirements

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has revised its Advisory Circular (AC) entitled Access to Airports by Individuals with Disabilities to ensure airport operators of civil use airports comply with the laws and regulations pertaining to individuals with disabilities.

Guidelines for Service Animal Relief Areas (SARAs) are an important part of the revised guidance. The AC provides requirements and recommendations for SARAs at civil use airports, which are required for each airport with 10,000 or more enplanements. It is mandatory for civil use airports that receive federal financial assistance through the Airport Improvement Program or Passenger Facility Charges program to follow the standards.

In addition to the SARAs, airport operators must also ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to adequate communications tools and signage, vehicle and transportations systems, aircraft and air carrier facilities, and boarding assistance.

Airport operators must adhere to the federal accessibility requirements in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Air Carrier Access Act of 1986, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968.

The AC also provides a list of disability/accessibility organizations that airports sponsors may consult as they are installing SARAs at their airports.