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NOTICE OF TEMPORARY EXEMPTION UNDER THE DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT: AIRNORTH

Legal Legal
Friday 14 December, 2012

NOTICE OF TEMPORARY EXEMPTION
UNDER THE DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT: AIRNORTH

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission gives notice of a decision
made on 13 October 2003 under section 57 of the Disability Discrimination
Act 1992 ("DDA") concerning access to regional air services
operated by Airnorth.

Applicants

The exemption application was submitted by Capiteq Ltd trading as Airnorth.

Decision of the Commission

The Commission decides under section 55 of the DDA to grant, for a period
of two years, an exemption to the applicants from the operation of sections
23 and 24 of the DDA and from the operation of the Disability Standards
for Accessible Public Transport, 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.
  • Imposition on intending passengers of requirements for notice of disability
    access needs, where the notice required is reasonable in the circumstances.

The exemption is conditional on Airnorth:

  • implementing proposals in its application for carrying passenger with
    disabilities and assistants at reduced fares where Airnorth requires
    a passenger provided 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
  • reporting within twelve months on any technical solutions which may
    be feasible to difficulties in passengers with disabilities boarding
    and being seated safely

Finding and reasons

In making this decision the Commission accepted findings and reasons
contained in a recommendation and statement of reasons
prepared by the Deputy Disability Discrimination Commissioner, which is
available on the Commission's web site www.humanrights.gov.au .

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/s
whose interests are affected by the decision.

John von Doussa QC
President
on behalf of the Commission
October 2003