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Ministry Reiterates Commitment To Make Airports Friendly For PWDs

The Ministry of Aviation has reiterated its commitment to ensuring disabilities-friendly and inclusive airports across the country for the benefit of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

Dr Emmanuel Meribole, the permanent secretary of the ministry, said this on Wednesday in Abuja during a stakeholders’ forum on enhancing access to airports for PWDs.

The forum was organised by the Coalition of Disability Organisations (CODO) as part of efforts to advocate and ensure an inclusive society.

He said that the ministry was willing to partner with relevant agencies to amend any identified gap to meet appropriate changing requirements to ensure accessible airports for PWDs.

Mr Meribole, represented by Mr Herbert Ndumele, his senior administrative officer, said that enhancing airports was an internationally recognised norm under Article 37 of the Chicago Convention signed in 1944 by ICAO member states including Nigeria.

“Contracting states should ensure that PWDs when travelling be provided with special assistance to ensure they receive services customarily available to the general public.

“That all elements of a journey, from beginning to end are made accessible and on the basis of the above-mentioned standards and recommended practices, contracting states, including Nigeria have taken necessary measures to make the system work.

“We can say our airlines have standardised to a great extent, including voluntary commitments, their procedures for acceptance and handling of disabled passengers,” he said.He said that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) played an important role in standardisation and implementation of procedures to ensure the rights and dignity of PWDs were fully taken into account in airport operations.

Mr Meribole reiterated that airports across the country were becoming increasingly accommodating toward passengers with disabilities with the help of technology.



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