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FAA Reauthorization is Law: Major Victory for Accessible Air Travel!

MDA Advocacy has some exciting and impactful news to share out of Washington, DC! The recent passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act marks a significant milestone in making air travel more accessible for all, particularly for those in the neuromuscular disease community and the broader disability community. From lawmakers to advocates, the journey to this point involved many folks who came to the table and ultimately helped get FAA Reauthorization across the finish line. The law is the culmination of over two years of work by MDA’s Advocacy team, our advocacy partners, and most of all – all the advocates who shared their experiences with their lawmakers to ensure that air travel is more inclusive, dignified, and safer for everyone.


As we celebrate this amazing accomplishment, let’s reflect on how we got to this moment.

  • Throughout the FAA Reauthorization process, MDA advocates submitted over 11,000 messages to their congressional representatives urging them to support air travel reforms. Our FAA Reauthorization campaign was instrumental in driving advocates to share their stories about air travel with lawmakers and add their voices to the conversation. We are incredibly grateful for the support and time of our MDA advocates – those who wrote letters, met with Congress, and more.
  • Over the years, various policy proposals were put forth by Members of Congress to address air travel accessibility issues, many of which were included in the final version of the bill, such as better training for airline staff, better information on airplane cargo hold dimensions, and efforts to continue study into wheelchair spots on airplanes.
  • Members of Congress on key congressional committees considered the proposals before them and crafted a bill that both chambers could agree on and that would gain enough support to pass both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
  • Ultimately, both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate provided bipartisan support to the FAA Reauthorization bill as it passed through Congress, and it was signed into law by President Biden on May 16, 2024.

Accessible Air Travel in FAA Reauthorization

This law includes the most substantive changes for air travel accessibility in nearly 40 years.

Here’s what is included:

  • Those working at airports and airline personnel will now receive stronger, hands-on training to help passengers with disabilities and properly stow their wheelchairs.
  • Mandated continued study on how to finally allow people to stay in their wheelchairs during flights.
  • Airlines will be held accountable for reporting any damage to wheelchairs, making sure everyone stays safe.
  • Airlines will be required to publish cargo hold dimensions and provide refunds to individuals when they are unable to fly due to space constraints in the aircraft cargo hold.
  • People living with disabilities will have a seat at the table when the government makes future decisions about air travel.
  • The Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights is formally written into law.

Take action before the Department of Transportation comments close on June 12

While the passage of FAA Reauthorization is a significant victory for our community, the work is not done yet! The Department of Transportation (DOT) is currently seeking comments from advocates on an additional measure to improve air travel accessibility – a proposal that aligns with many of the items included in FAA Reauthorization. This is another major opportunity to influence the future direction of accessible air travel, and we still need advocates like you to ask DOT to implement this proposal.

If you haven’t already, you can join us in this effort—submit your comments to the DOT by June 12 and help us continue to improve the air travel experience.


Next Steps and Useful Resources

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