New Jersey Senator Cory Booker wrote this email to our Development and Fundraising Coordinator Tamie Amoroso
“August 31, 2016
Thank you for taking the time to write to me about accessibility in air travel. I rely on the input of engaged New Jerseyans like you when making decisions, and appreciate you sharing your thoughts.
As you may know, the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 prohibits discrimination against travelers with special access needs. Despite this, many travelers find that air travel presents numerous frustrating challenges to their accessibility requirements. Whether it be air travel, education, or employment, it is incumbent on Congress to address issues of accessibility and inclusion that impact people with disabilities.
For this reason, I am proud that on April 19, 2016, the Senate passed comprehensive legislation to update our nation’s aviation transportation system (H.R. 636). Several provisions in this bill addressed the need for improved accessibility. One provision requires a federal study of best practices in our nation’s airports to identify how infrastructure and communication designs can improve accessibility. Another provision requires research to determine if cabin wheelchair restraint systems can improve accessibility. A third requires a report on the accessibility policies of each air carrier and whether these policies are in compliance with federal regulations. In addition, the bill creates a committee to advise the Department of Transportation on barriers to accessibility and to submit recommendations for eliminating these barriers. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives was not able to reach agreement on H.R. 636, choosing instead to advance a stripped-down aviation bill that did not include the provisions on accessibility.
Banning discrimination was an important step in fulfilling traveler access rights, but Congress must remain vigilant to ensure that accessibility is eliminated as a barrier to commercial air travel. I strongly support proactive measures to improve accessibility for travelers in our nation’s aviation transportation system. Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind when reviewing this legislation, and other proposal like it, that address the needs of disabled people in their pursuit of fair treatment and equal access.
Again, thank you for writing to me. I am honored to represent you in the United States Senate, and I value what I hear from New Jerseyans about the issues our state and nation face. Please continue to keep in touch with your thoughts and concerns. For more information on my work in New Jersey and Washington, please visit my website at booker.senate.gov.
Cory A. Booker
United States Senator”