To the help group:
Following is a message that was sent to all the airlines in Wichita by a service animal advocacy organization with the guidelines they would like to see at the nation’s airports when a service animal relief area is constructed. Please note that there are apparently no official national standards or guidelines that we have found for the design of such a facility, and the regulation doesn’t specify any either. However, ACI-NA is working on developing some as we speak. The airports in Reno and Denver have already built relief areas and I have photos if anyone would like to see them.
Victor D. White, A.A.E.
Dear Airline Station Manager,
The Department of Transportation has set forth new rules requiring the installation of service animal relief areas at all U.S. airports.
(see the relevant paragraph from the Final Rule below my signature)
As one who frequently meets & picks up other assistance dog handlers who travel through our airport as well as travels through our airport with my assistance dogs, Blair or Shane, and as an IAADP member; I would like to know if you were aware of this mandate that all U.S. airports are required to have installed service animal relief areas by May 13, 2009.
The rules were set forth in 2008 and require a cooperative effort on the part of assistance dog training programs and those of us partnered with assistance service dogs. I am a member of IAADP and would be happy to find out more information to assist our airport to be in compliance if it isnt already accomplished.
The Coalition of Assistance Dog Organizations, representing the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP), Guide Dog Users Inc. (GDUI), Assistance Dogs International North America (ADI NA) and the Council of U.S. Dog Guide Schools (CUSDGS), has shared the following GUIDELINES with the U.S. Department of Transportation Guidelines for Service Animal Relief Areas at Airports
1. Service animal relief areas should be established within the secured perimeter.
2. The location of service animal relief areas should be negotiated between airlines, airport operators, assistance dog training programs and assistance dog partners. Representatives of TSA should be asked
to participate in these discussions.
3. A minimum area of 10 feet by 10 feet should be set aside for each relief area. If space permits a larger area should be designated.
4. Grass or other natural surfaces are preferred. Additional surfaces may be wood chips or gravel.
5. Every service animal relief area must be accessible for physically disabled individuals using wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
6. The service animal relief area must be maintained by airlines and/or airport operators.
7. All service animal relief areas should have bags for pick up, pooper scoopers and trash receptacles.
8. Service animal relief areas should be fenced in with gates wide enough to provide wheelchair access.
9. Escort service staff must be trained about these requirements and notified of the mandate to provide escort service to and from the service animal relief area for disabled passengers accompanied by assistance dogs.
10. Other airline staff, such as Complaint Resolution Officials, must be trained about these requirements and know the location of designated service animal relief areas.
Below is the language used in the final rule published in the Federal Register
Department of Transportation
14 CFR Part 382
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel; Final Rule
One new requirement at U.S. airports is to provide, in cooperation with the airport operator, animal relief areas for service animals that accompany passengers who are departing, arriving, or connecting at the facility.