Welcome, friends! You’ve come to the right SPOT for periodic check-ins about accessible travel and updates on how All Wheels Up is paving the way for a wheelchair spot on airplanes.
In This Issue of Spot-On!

October 2021

US Transportation Board Says a Wheelchair Spot on Planes Is “Feasible”

Way back, pre-pandemic, Congress tasked the US Transportation Review Board (TRB) in the FAA Reauthorization Act to determine the feasibility of a wheelchair securement system on commercial flights. On September 15 of this month, the TRB released its Final Report on the Feasibility of Wheelchair Securement Systems on Aircraft, officially declaring that wheelchair securement systems are feasible for in-flight use in commercial aviation. It’s important to understand that the scope of the feasibility report was to determine if securement systems could be used on commercial flights (physical and engineering issues)—not if they should be used (moral and legal issues). The TRB’s report, published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, says that securement systems are feasible. Much more research is needed, but AWU looks forward to collaborating with the DOT, FAA, and Congress to create a road map for executing the long-awaited wheelchair spot on commercial aircraft.

We’re Expanding Fly Safe Today

While it’s great news that a wheelchair spot is a feasible concept, let’s be frank: it’s not happening tomorrow or even next year. What can a traveler with reduced mobility do in the meantime to make travel a little easier and safer? Last winter All Wheels Up rolled out its pilot Fly Safe Today program to give out free CARES Special Needs harnesses and ADAPTS slings to adults and children with disabilities who applied to the program. We had such an overwhelming response that we ran out of stock in 48 hours—showing us that the need is there. We’re happy to announce that we’ve received a generous grant from the Craig H. Neilson Foundation and will be expanding our Fly Safe Today in the next month. Stay tuned for eligibility criteria and the application process.

Fundraiser Update

We held our first virtual fundraiser in August 2021 in honor of National Aviation Day (August 19) and also to raise awareness of the need for a wheelchair spot on commercial aircraft. All Wheels Up's Virtual Walk, Run, Roll/Bike for Accessible Air Travel was a big success for a grassroots first try! We had 208 participants and raised almost $14,000! Our nationwide event spanned across 24 states, with our top three biggest supporters from the states of New Jersey, Oregon and Ohio. Some of the funds raised from this event will go to providing slings and harnesses to people on our waitlist from our pilot Fly Safe Today program. We’re already planning our second Virtual Walk, Run, Roll/Bike event in August 2022. Stay tuned!
Pie chart showing registrants by state
Happy runner showing off medal
Board member with supporters at a park
Top: Pie chart showing registrants by state. Center left: Happy runner showing off medal. Center right: Board member with supporters at a park. Bottom: Supporters from Dayton, Ohio, the Birthplace of Aviation
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