Legislation and Guidance for On-Board Wheelchairs (OBWs)
There is no dedicated standard, regulation or legislation for the design and application of an on-board wheelchair. There are guidance documents or regulations that refer to the rights of disabled persons and, where relevant, we have included recommendations in the design of the Airchair.
The guidance documents differ depending on the country that has issued them and airlines usually take guidance from one of the following countries:
UK – DPTAC
There is only a guidance document on OBWs produced by an advisory committee named DPTAC (Disabled Persons Advisory Committee). This document proposes dimensions and loadings as well as general design. Release level for OBWs is a Certificate of Conformity and this is accepted worldwide.
The Committee has been disbanded and responsibility has passed to the National Health Service (NHS).
US – DoT 14 CFR 382
The Air Carriers Act (ACAA) specifies that aircraft carrying more than 60 passengers and providing one or more accessible lavatories must provide an “on-board wheelchair” for passenger use.
This is reiterated in DOT 14 CFR 382 with the note that OBWs must have foldable armrests.
The SAE Aerospace document covers Recommended Practice for Foldable On-Board Wheelchairs in its publication ARP4120.
Europe – EU1170/2006
The Regulation (EC) no.1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5th July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons when travelling by air, states that “assistance is required for the particular needs (of disabled persons) on-board aircraft by employing necessary staff and equipment”.
EASA form 1
The EASA form 1 is the Authorised Release Certificate released by a POA holder for stating that a product, a part, or a component was manufactured in accordance with approved/not approved design data.
We are sometimes asked if Airchair has a form 1. It is deemed a ‘carry on’ piece of equipment and does not need to be fixed anywhere in the interior of an aircraft as it can be easily stowed in an overhead locker or dog box, therefore Airchair does not require form 1.