The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission gives notice of a decision made on 15 February 2006 under section 57 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 ("DDA") concerning access to aircraft operated by Capiteq Ltd trading as AirNorth.


The exemption application was submitted by Capiteq Ltd.

Decision of the Commission

The Commission decides under section 55 of the DDA to grant an exemption from the operation of sections 23 and 24 of the DDA and from the operation of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport, for a period of two years, regarding:

  • Lack of access to aircraft seats for people requiring wheelchair access, where this is prevented by limited aisle width.
  • Lack of access to aircraft or seats for passengers requiring lifting, where this cannot be performed in compliance with the requirements of applicable occupational health and safety laws due to space constraints of the particular aircraft.
  • Requirements for notice of disability access requirements, where these requirements are reasonable in the circumstances.

The exemption is conditional on Capiteq Limited:

  • Continuing to provide the Greater Freedom Fare as detailed in its application where a person would not be able to travel without an assistant;
  • Reporting each three months during the exemption period to the Commission on any instances where a passenger has been unable to travel or has been required to travel with an assistant because of restrictions permitted by this exemption at a periodicity set by the Commission.
  • Reporting each three months during the exemption period on any technical solutions feasible to difficulties in passengers with disabilities boarding and being seated safely, and in particular on consideration of solutions being trialled by other aviation operators in Australia .

Finding and reasons

In making this decision the Commission has considered and had regard to the following material:

  • the exemption application;
  • the findings and reasons contained in the recommendation prepared by the Disability Discrimination Commissioner and available on its website

The Commission adopts the findings and reasons set out in the Recommendation as its reasons for its decision to grant a temporary exemption.

Review of decision

Subject to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, application may be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the decision to which this notice relates by or on behalf of any person or persons whose interests are affected by the decision.

Graeme Innes AM
Human Rights Commissioner and Disability Discrimination Commissioner
on behalf of the Commission
15 February 2006