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PWDs Advocate Inclusion In Policies Of Aviation Sector

Persons with Disabilites, PWDs, have called on stakeholders in the aviation sector to include their needs in their policies and Standard Operations Procedures, SOPs.

They made the call during their 2nd stakeholders forum on accessible Aviation organized by Centre for Ability, Rehabilitation and Empowerment, CARE, in Abuja.

Chief Executive Director of CARE, Dr. Chike Okogwu in his remark explained that the Accessible Aviation project which is ongoing has recorded a lot of milestones.

Okogwu appealed to Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to extend its Customer Protection Service to PWDs while at the airports.

“To this end the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has mandated all airlines to inculcate in their websites an option to indicate that a person with disability and the kind of assistance needed, and also the airlines have appointed handler companies to ensure that PWDs are well taken care of while boarding and disembarking” Dr. Okogwu added.

He also stressed that the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN has allocated a place for staff of CARE at the Abuja airport to assist PWDs.

“FAAN has also created a parking lot well marked for PWDs at Abuja airport and all that is required is for the PWDs to inform the security officers that he or she is a person with reduced mobility and they will direct him or her where to park but it is not going to last long to avoid disrupting other vehicular movement for long”.

Dr. Okogwu who expressed satisfaction with the achievements recorded so far stressed that more still needed to be done for PWDs using the nation’s airport.

“We are satisfied with what we have achieved so far, the story is no longer the same for PWDs at the airports, We are not yet where we should be but we are not where we used to be. It is work in progress and there is assurances that what CARE have started will be sustained” he stressed.

According to the Chief Executive Director of CARE, the National Commission for Persons With Disabilites, NCPWD, has promised to absorb CARE staff at the airport to sustain the project by making sure PWDs are not subjected to restrictions upon their arrival at the airports.

The theme of the Forum is “Upscaling Sustainable and Achievable Policies Addressing Service Delivery to PWDs in the Aviation sector.

By Georgina Humphrey,Edited by Grace Namiji

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