Buttigieg's DOT announces new airplane bathroom accessibility rule
Such accessibility accommodations have long been required on twin-aisle aircraft, though smaller aircraft have not been subject to comparable guidelines.
The Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced a rule requiring that airplanes with a single aisle feature fully-accessible bathrooms.
"The U.S. Department of Transportation is issuing a final rule to amend the Department’s Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulation to improve the accessibility of lavatories on single-aisle aircraft," the DOT stated. "This final rule is intended to ensure that our air transportation system is safe and accessible to individuals with disabilities."
"This rulemaking requires airlines to make lavatories on new single-aisle aircraft large enough to permit a passenger with a disability and an attendant, both equivalent in size to a 95th percentile male, to approach, enter, and maneuver within as necessary to use the aircraft lavatory," the statement continued.
Such accommodations have long been required on twin-aisle aircraft, though smaller aircraft have not been subject to comparable guidelines. The rule comes as airlines increasingly embrace the use of such planes for long flights due to fuel efficiency.
"It is an unfortunate reality that today, many air travelers with disabilities, knowing that they will not be able to use the lavatory during a flight, may dehydrate themselves or even withhold bodily functions so that they do not need to urinate," the rule states.
"The inability to safely access and use the lavatory on long flights can impact the dignity of passengers with disabilities and deter them from traveling by air, limiting their independence and freedom to travel," the DOT asserted. "This final rule addresses a human rights issue and promotes freedom to travel for people with disabilities."
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.