Rights of disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility in air traffic

Enforcement of the Regulation

Every EU Member State shall designate an authority responsible for enforcement of the Regulation within that Member State. For the Republic of Bulgaria the National enforcement body (NEB) of Regulation 1107/2006 is DG Civil Aviation Administration (DG CAA).

Enforcement bodies in other Member States and their contact information may be found on the European Commission website.

Rights of special needs groups

The EU Regulation specifies the following rights for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility:

Equal right to air travel for persons with reduced mobility

o    An air carrier or its agent or tour operator shall not refuse, on the grounds of disability or reduced mobility, the accepting of a reservation from or the embarking of a passenger on a flight departing from an airport in the EU. Derogations may only be made for security reasons allowed by law. The purpose of this provision is to prevent cases of intentional and unintentional discrimination.

Assistance free of charge at all airports in the EU

o    Airports shall provide assistance for persons with reduced mobility according to their special needs. The passenger shall inform the air carrier or tour operator of the need for assistance at least 48 hours before the published time of the departure of the flight. The managing body of the airport shall be responsible for ensuring the provision of assistance at the airport. Assistance shall be available not only in the terminal but also outside it, e.g. in parking facilities and at public transport stops in the terminal area.

Assistance on board

o    Air carriers shall provide certain types of assistance free of charge for flights departing from airports in the EU, such as carriage of a wheelchair or a guide dog.

For whom is the assistance intended?

Assistance is provided free of charge for passengers:

  • whose mobility is reduced due to a physical or developmental disability,
  • who have impaired vision or hearing,
  • who have temporarily reduced mobility,
  • who are elderly, or
  • who for some other reason require special assistance.

These safeguards apply:

  • to all flights (scheduled, charter, low cost) departing from or in transit at an airport of the European Community
  • to all flights (scheduled, charter, low cost) departing from a non-EU airport, with expected arrival at an airport of the European Union, when the flight is carried out by an air carrier that belongs to the European Community

These safeguards do not apply:

  • to flights departing from a non- EU airport and arriving in an EU Country, that are operated by non- EU air carriers. In this case the safeguards that apply are those ensured by local laws and by the laws that regulate the carriage contract.