The rights of persons with disabilities or reduced mobility when availing of air transport services are set out in EU Regulation 1107 of 2006. This Regulation is one of a number of interlinked legislative measures at EU level in support of air passenger rights. These measures include Regulation 261 of 2004 which establishes common rules on compensation for air passengers, and Regulation 2027 of 1997 which brings EU law into line with the Montreal Convention on air carriers liability in respect of damage to baggage, including damage to special equipment such as mobility equipment.
The EU Commission and Member States including Ireland are supportive of making the necessary revisions to both Regulation 261 of 2004 and Regulation 2027 of 1997 to make them fit for purpose in terms of the current civil aviation market. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought consumer protection into sharp focus. There are lessons to be learnt to ensure that these regulations preserve the rights of consumers whilst being workable for the aviation sector both in times of normal operating conditions as well as in times of crisis. I therefore welcome the EU Commission's announcement that its work programme for 2022 includes recommencement of work on revision of both of these regulations.
Prior to the postponement of work on revision of these regulations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there had been general agreement at the Aviation Working Party on the EU Commission’s proposals to provide that the liability of air carriers with regard to mobility equipment should be increased to the actual value of the equipment. The Commission’s proposal is, in conformity with the Montreal Convention, to compel air carriers to automatically offer the option to make a special declaration of interest laid out within the Convention in relation to any specialised mobility equipment. Ireland is supportive of this approach. My Department will be an active participant at EU Council level when the negotiations recommence.