Electric Mobility Aids

Safety Requirements Applicable to the Carriage of Electric Mobility Aids

References:

  • Regulation (EC)No 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air (“the PRM Regulation”)
  • ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Doc 9284 AN/905) (“the ICAO Technical Instructions”); and
  • Regulation (EC) No.3922/91 Annex III (“EU-OPS”).

bmi regional will do its best to accommodate persons with reduced mobility and their electric mobility aids onboard our aircraft. We would encourage persons with reduced mobility to pre-notify their intention to travel with an electric mobility aid. Pre-notification will assist us with the provision of special assistance, vastly reduce the possibility of your electric mobility aid being refused for carriage, and help prevent it from being damaged. If your electric mobility aid has loose-fitting parts such as armrests, footrest, cushions etc., they should be placed in a plastic stowage sack or similar, prior to loading in the aircraft, to prevent any loose parts getting lost or broken. Passengers may prefer to carry this type of equipment on board the aircraft to prevent loss or damage.

We will endeavour to accept 2 pieces of mobility equipment per person with reduced mobility subject to advance warning of 48 hours and the limitations of space on our aircraft and the application of relevant legislation concerning dangerous goods.

Due to the dimensions and location of our Embraer aircraft baggage hold the maximum weight and dimensions we can accept are as follows:

Weight 50Kg;
Height 80cm x width 70cm x length 170cm.

We may not be able to carry your electric mobility aid if:

  • we are not satisfied that the requirements of the ICAO Technical Instructions are met in relation to the prevention of inadvertent operation and short circuit of the mobility aid;
  • insufficient space being available on our aircraft at the time the booking is made with us;
  • mobility aid dimensions exceeding the cargo door dimensions; and
  • The tare weight of a mobility aid exceeding the aircraft loading limitations, having considered all possible load spreading options.

Before we can accept your electric mobility aid, we need you to give us as much information as you can on the electric mobility aid you have such as:

  • Manufacturer/Model
  • Tare (un-laden) weight
  • Dimensions
  • Number of batteries
  • Type of battery (wet acid, non-spillable or lithium)
  • Instructions for preventing accidental activation

We can accept the following types of electric mobility aid.

Wheelchairs/Mobility aids with non-spillable wet batteries or with batteries which comply with Special Provision A123

Battery-powered wheelchairs or other similar mobility aids for use by passengers whose mobility is restricted by their disability, health or age, or a temporary mobility problem (e.g. broken leg), with non-spillable wet batteries or with batteries which comply with Special Provision A123:-

(a) non-spillable batteries must comply with Special Provision A67 or the vibration and pressure differential tests of Packing Instruction 872;
(b) bmi Regional must verify that:-

(1) The battery terminals are protected from short circuits, e.g. by being enclosed within a battery container;
(2) The battery is securely attached to the wheelchair or mobility aid;
(3) Electrical circuits have been inhibited.

(c) The wheelchair/mobility aid must be secured against movement in the cargo hold and must be carried such that it is protected from being damaged by the movement of baggage, mail, or cargo;
(d) Where a battery-powered or other similar mobility aid is specifically designed to allow its battery (ies) to be removed by the user (e.g. collapsible):-

(1) The battery (ies) must be removed. The wheelchair/mobility aid may then be carried as checked baggage without restriction;
(2) The removed battery (ies) must be carried in strong; rigid packaging’s which must be carried in the cargo compartment;
(3) The battery (ies) must be protected from short circuit; and
(4) The pilot-in-command must be informed of the location of the packed battery.

(e) It is recommended that passengers make advance arrangements with bmi regional.

Wheelchairs/Mobility aids with spillable batteries

Battery-powered wheelchairs or other similar mobility aids for use by passengers whose mobility is restricted by their disability, health or age, or a temporary mobility problem (e.g. broken leg), with spillable batteries:-

(a) Provided that the wheelchair or mobility aid can be loaded, stowed, secured and unloaded always in an upright position then the battery may remain installed in the wheelchair. bmi Regional must verify that:

(1) The battery terminals are protected from short circuits (e.g. by being enclosed within a battery container);
(2) The battery is securely attached to the wheelchair or mobility aid;
(3) Electrical circuits have been inhibited;
(4) The wheelchair/battery-powered mobility aid must be carried such that it is protected from being damaged by the movement of baggage, mail or cargo.

(b) If the wheelchair or mobility aid cannot be loaded, stowed, secured and unloaded always in an upright position, the battery must be removed. The wheelchair or mobility aid may then be carried as checked baggage without restriction;
(c) The removed battery must be carried in strong, rigid packagings as follows:

(1) packaging’s must be leak-tight, impervious to battery fluid and be protected against upset by securing to pallets or by securing them in cargo compartments using appropriate means of securement (other than by bracing with freight or baggage) such as by use of restraining straps, brackets or holders;
(2) batteries must be protected against short circuits, secured upright in these packaging’s and surrounded by compatible absorbent material sufficient to absorb their total liquid contents; and
(3) These packaging’s must be marked “BATTERY, WET, WITH WHEELCHAIR” or “BATTERY, WET, WITH MOBILITY AID” and be labelled with the “Corrosive” label and with the “Package Orientation” label.

The pilot-in-command must be informed of the location of a wheelchair or mobility aid with an installed battery or the location of a packed battery.

It is recommended that passengers make advance arrangements with bmi regional; also that batteries which are spillable should be fitted with spill-resistant vent caps when feasible.

Wheelchairs/Mobility Aids with Lithium batteries

Lithium-ion battery powered wheelchairs or other similar mobility aids for use by passengers whose mobility is restricted by either a disability, their health or age, or a temporary mobility problem (e.g. broken leg), subject to the following conditions:-

(a) The batteries must be of a type which meets the requirements of each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3;
(b) bmi Regional must verify that;

(1) The battery terminals are protected from short circuits (e.g. by being enclosed within a battery container);
(2) The battery is securely attached to the wheelchair or mobility aid;
(3) Electrical circuits have been inhibited.

(c) Mobility aids must be secured against movement in the cargo hold and must be carried in a manner such that they are protected from being damaged by the movement of baggage, mail or other cargo;
(d) Where a battery-powered or other similar mobility aid is specifically designed to allow its battery (ies) to be removed by the user (e.g. collapsible):-

(1) The battery (ies) must be removed. The wheelchair/mobility aid may then be carried as checked baggage without restriction;
(2) The battery (ies) must be protected from short circuit by insulating the terminals (e.g. by taping over exposed terminals);
(3) The removed battery (ies) must be protected from damage (e.g. by placing each battery in a protective pouch). The battery (ies) must be carried in the passenger cabin;
(4) Removal of the battery from the device must be performed by following the instructions of the manufacturer or device owner;
(5) The battery must not exceed 300 Wh;
(6) A maximum of one spare battery not exceeding 300 Wh or two spares each not exceeding 160 Wh may be carried.

(e) The pilot-in-command must be informed of the location of the mobility aid with an installed battery or the location of the lithium battery when removed and carried in the cabin;
(f) It is recommended that passengers make advance arrangements with bmi regional.

Availability of information on Specific Electric Mobility Aids
The user guides of electric mobility aids normally include the tare weight and dimensions which we require for load control purposes, but typically do not include instructions for inhibiting the circuits of electric mobility aids in order to make them safe for the carriage by air. The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has compiled (in conjunction with its members) a log containing all of the information needed by bmi regional and the airport operator to facilitate the safe carriage of many electric mobility aids. The log includes electric mobility aids distributed by BHTA members since 2006 (estimated to cover around 70% of the devices used within the EU) and is intended for use by persons with reduced mobility, tour operators, airlines and airports to ensure the appropriate information is shared by all involved in the carriage of electric mobility aids by air. The log is published at the following address:

www.bhta.net/home/air-transport-advice-lists.html

The means of inhibiting circuits to prevent the accidental activation of electric mobility aids vary. Most scooters have a key which can be switched to the off position, removed and given to the passenger for safe keeping. However most power chairs are switched on and off with a push- button which could be reactivated in flight by the inadvertent movement of baggage or cargo. Accordingly, further steps are required to inhibit the circuits of such devices, for example disconnecting electric cable plugs or connectors, or inserting an inhibiting plug (such as the Airsafe™) into the charging socket of the device. For each power chair listed, the BHTA log specifies whether the use of an Airsafe™ inhibiting plug is appropriate (as advised by the power chair manufacturer). Airsafe™ plugs can be purchased on the internet through various retailers.

The battery terminals of current models of electric mobility aids tend to be protected from short circuit through the battery being fully encased. On other models it may be necessary to insulate battery terminals, e.g. with electrical insulating tape.

Please remember. If we are not satisfied that an electric mobility aid can be carried safely its carriage will be denied, and if we have not been given a minimum of 48 hours notice of your intention to travel with an electric mobility aid before your date of travel we cannot guarantee carriage.

For more information view our voluntary code of practice for customers with special needs.

Information for Reservations, Travel Agents, Tour Operators

If a special assistance passenger books a flight with bmi regional and requests specific assistance with regards to electric mobility aids, we ask that you insert the applicable industry codes (WCBD-non-spillable batteries or WCBW-wet cell batteries or WCLB-lithium ion batteries) into the customer’s reservation record (PNR) along with all the required information relating to the manufacturer, model, Tare (un-laden) weight, dimensions, number of batteries, type of batteries (wet acid, non-spillable or lithium)and the instructions for preventing accidental activation.

Please contact our Customer Contact Centre