Advisory Guidelines for Aircraft Onboard Wheelchairs, 43100-43107 [2019-17873]

Download as PDF jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES 43100 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Notices Title: Section 515 Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) Demonstration Program. OMB Control Number: 0575–0190. Type of Request: Extension of currently approved information collection. Abstract: The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, 2006 (Pub. L. 109– 97) provides funding for, and authorizes Rural Development to conduct a demonstration program for the preservation and revitalization of the Section 515 Multi-Family Housing portfolio. Section 515 of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1485) provides Rural Development the authority to make loans for low-income MultiFamily Housing and related facilities. Rural Development refers to this program as Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) Demonstration Program. A Notice of Solicitation for Applications (NOSA) sets forth the eligibility and application requirements. Information will be collected from applicants and grant recipients by Rural Development staff in its Local, Area, State, and National Offices. This information will be used to determine applicant eligibility for this demonstration program. If an applicant proposal is selected, that applicant will be notified of the selection and given the opportunity to submit a formal application. This MPR demonstration program continues to adjust the various opportunities available to demonstrate effective methods of providing the needed financial resources not otherwise available to current owners and transferees. Using alternative forms of financing, these owners will preserve existing Agency-financed Rural Rental Housing and Farm Labor Housing and extend the property’s useful life for tenants meeting RD eligibility requirements. Since the inception of the MPR demonstration program in 2006, revisions and adjustments in the nature of the program have necessitated certain revisions in the context, formatting and use of the original forms in this package to permit RD’s ability to provide these needed financial opportunities. To meet current Agency NOSA, regulatory and industry standards, the following forms are being revised, reformatted and/or renamed in some instances to provide clarity and consistency in their practical use and application: • MPR Pre-Application • Debt Deferral Agreement • Restrictive-Use Covenant • Restrictive-Use Subordination Agreement VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 • MPR Grant Agreement • MPR Loan and Grant Resolution (nonprofit corporation) • Restructuring Conditional Commitment (renamed: MPR Offer and Conditional Commitment) • Addendum to Debt Deferral Agreement • Subordination Agreement Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response. Respondents: Individuals, partnerships, public and private nonprofit corporations, agencies, institutions, organizations, and Indian tribes. Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,500. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 18,701 hours. Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Taylor Abens, Rural Development Innovation Center— Regulatory Team 2, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 1522, Room 4233, South Building, Washington, DC 20250–1522. Telephone: (712) 203–5625. Email taylor.abens@usda.gov. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record. Bruce W. Lammers, Administrator, Rural Housing Service. [FR Doc. 2019–17799 Filed 8–19–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–XV–P ARCHITECTURAL AND TRANSPORTATION BARRIERS COMPLIANCE BOARD [Docket No. ATBCB–2019–0002] Advisory Guidelines for Aircraft Onboard Wheelchairs Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board. ACTION: Invitation for public comment on proposed advisory guidelines for aircraft onboard wheelchairs. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (hereafter, ‘‘Access Board,’’ ‘‘Board,’’ or ‘‘we’’) invites public comment on proposed non-binding advisory guidelines for wheelchairs used within aircraft cabins primarily to transport individuals with disabilities between seat and lavatory, which we refer to as ‘‘onboard wheelchairs.’’ The PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Access Board is developing these advisory guidelines as technical assistance to air carriers by providing one example of how they might satisfy performance standards for onboard wheelchairs on covered aircraft, which the Department of Transportation (DOT) expects to establish in a forthcoming rulemaking under the Air Carrier Access Act. Even if adopted by the Access Board, these guidelines will not be legally binding on any regulated entity. Whether, or to what extent, DOT subsequently references, incorporates, or adopts these guidelines falls under the department’s exclusive authority. DATES: Submit comments by October 21, 2019. Public hearing: September 12, 2019, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Public testimony: Send requests to present oral testimony by September 5, 2019. ADDRESSES: Public hearing: The public hearing location is 1331 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington DC 20004. Witnesses can testify in person or by telephone. Call-in information and a communication access real-time translation (CART) web streaming link will be posted on the Access Board’s website at http://www.access-board.gov/ onboard. The hearing will be accessible to persons with disabilities. An assistive listening system, communication access real-time translation, and sign language interpreters will be provided. Persons attending the hearing are requested to refrain from using perfume, cologne, and other fragrances for the comfort of other participants (see www.accessboard.gov/about/policies/fragrance.htm for more information). Comments: Submit comments identified by docket number ATBCB– 2019–0002, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Email: docket@access-board.gov. Include docket number ATBCB–2019– 0002 in the subject line of the message. • Fax: 202–272–0081. • Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Office of Technical and Information Services, Access Board, 1331 F Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004–1111. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. All comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov. E:\FR\FM\20AUN1.SGM 20AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Notices Public testimony: Send requests to present oral testimony to Rose Marie Bunales at (202) 272–0006 (voice) or bunales@access-board.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Wendy Marshall, Access Board, 1331 F Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004–1111; Telephone: (202) 272–0043 (voice); Email: marshall@accessboard.gov; or Mario Damiani, Access Board, 1331 F Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004–1111; Telephone: (202) 272–0050 (voice); Email: damiani@access-board.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES I. Purpose The purpose of these advisory guidelines for onboard wheelchairs is to provide air carriers and onboard wheelchair manufacturers with technical assistance in meeting their obligations under the Air Carrier Access Act. 49 U.S.C. 41705. The Department of Transportation has indicated an intent to issue regulations under the Air Carrier Access Act that seek to implement the final resolution of a negotiated rulemaking, described in more detail below. See Resolution of the Department of Transportation Access Committee, Annex A (Nov. 22, 2016), available at https://www.transportation. gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/ACCESS CommitteeFinalResolution.11.21.16.pdf. The agreed-upon terms include a requirement for an onboard wheelchair of enhanced functionality on specified commercial aircraft of more than 125 passenger seats. The Department of Transportation has sought technical assistance from the Access Board in providing specifications that would meet a future mandatory performance standard, issued by the Department, for such onboard wheelchairs. Similar to the existing onboard wheelchair regulations at 14 CFR 382.65(c), it is expected that the new standards the Department of Transportation intends to issue as a result of the negotiated rulemaking will be performance standards. This means that the contemplated regulations would require onboard wheelchairs to have certain features and meet established functional criteria but would not specify technical requirements such as dimensions for specific features. The Access Board’s advisory guidelines would serve as technical assistance for covered air carriers, providing one example of how covered air carriers might satisfy the performance standard for onboard wheelchairs established by DOT in its forthcoming rulemaking. These advisory guidelines contain recommended dimensions and other VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 technical specifications that would help manufacturers optimize the design of a comfortable and functional chair and assist air carriers in the selection of onboard wheelchair models that best serve passengers with disabilities. Even if adopted by the Access Board, these guidelines will not be legally binding on any regulated entity. Whether or to what extent DOT subsequently references, incorporates, or adopts these guidelines falls under the department’s exclusive authority. Nonetheless, it is the Access Board’s understanding that DOT does not intend to issue any regulatory standards that would make nonconformance with these advisory guidelines a separate basis for affirmative enforcement action or imposition of administrative penalties. II. Background In 2016, the Department of Transportation established an Advisory Committee on Accessible Air Transportation (hereafter, ‘‘ACCESS Advisory Committee’’ or ‘‘Committee’’) to negotiate and develop a proposed rule concerning various accommodations for air travelers with disabilities, including the accessibility of lavatories on new single-aisle aircraft. See Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel; Establishment of a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, 81 FR 20265 (Apr. 7, 2016). The Committee consisted of airline representatives, aircraft manufacturing representatives, representatives from disability rights advocacy organizations, and other stakeholders.1 The Committee agreed to specific incremental accessibility solutions with respect to aircraft lavatories. The accessibility solutions culminate in the requirement for installation on certain single-aisle aircraft of a lavatory of sufficient size to allow individuals with mobility disabilities to transfer from an onboard wheelchair to the toilet (and vice versa). However, by the terms of the Committee’s agreement, it will be at least twenty years before these lavatories are installed in single-aisle aircraft. See Resolution of the Department of Transportation Access Committee, Annex A (Nov. 22, 2016), available at https://www.transportation. gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/ACCESS CommitteeFinalResolution.11.21.16.pdf. In the interim, the Committee agreed to pursue improvements to the onboard wheelchairs that individuals with certain types of mobility disabilities 1 Full membership of the Committee can be viewed at DOT’s Notice of Negotiated Rulemaking (Reg-Neg) Committee Membership and Public Meeting, 81 FR 26178 (May 2, 2016). PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 43101 must use to move between the aircraft seat and the lavatory. See Id. DOT currently requires air carriers to provide onboard wheelchairs on most aircraft with more than sixty passenger seats that have an accessible lavatory and when requested by a passenger with a disability even if the aircraft does not have an accessible lavatory. 14 CFR 382.65(b). DOT specifies certain features that onboard wheelchairs must have and performance criteria that they must meet. 14 CFR 382.65(c). Because of the general nature of these performance criteria, there is little standardization across manufacturers with respect to the design of onboard wheelchairs. The Committee agreed to pursue an onboard wheelchair design that, if feasible, could be positioned over a closed toilet to allow for better use of the other features of a lavatory, including the privacy afforded by a closed door. The Committee also acknowledged the existence of safety and usability challenges with traditional onboard wheelchair models. The Committee thus agreed that DOT should develop new standards for onboard wheelchairs, and that, in the future, certain aircraft 2 would be required to provide an onboard wheelchair that meets those standards. In response to the Committee’s agreement, DOT requested technical assistance from the Access Board in developing advisory guidelines that would address the Committee’s concerns. The Access Board proposes the below advisory guidelines in response to this request. III. Legal Authority The Air Carrier Access Act permits the Department of Transportation to seek assistance from the Access Board for the provision of ‘‘technical assistance to air carriers and individuals with disabilities in understanding the rights and responsibilities’’ under the Act. 49 U.S.C. 41705. In addition, Section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, tasks the Access Board with statutory authorities relating to transportation barriers confronting persons with disabilities. See 29 U.S.C. 792. Specifically, the Board is directed to ‘‘investigate and examine alternative 2 By the terms of the ACCESS Committee’s final resolution, the new requirements for onboard wheelchairs would apply to ‘‘New covered single aisle aircraft with 125 FAA maximum certified passenger seats entering service 3 years after the effective date of the Final Rule.’’ Resolution of the U.S. Department of Transportation Access Committee, Annex A (Nov. 22, 2016), available at https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/ docs/ACCESSCommitteeFinal Resolution.11.21.16.pdf. E:\FR\FM\20AUN1.SGM 20AUN1 43102 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Notices approaches to the architectural, transportation, communication, and attitudinal barriers confronting individuals with disabilities, particularly with respect to telecommunications devices, public buildings and monuments, parks and parklands, public transportation (including air, water, and surface transportation, whether interstate, foreign, intrastate, or local), and residential and institutional housing,’’ and to ‘‘ensure that public conveyances, including rolling stock, are readily accessible to, and usable by, individuals with physical disabilities.’’ Id. at 792(b)(5) and (b)(10). Further, the Access Board is charged with promoting accessibility throughout all segments of society. Id. at (b)(4). IV. Discussion of Proposed Guidelines jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES A. Design Considerations 1. Over-Toilet Position In these advisory guidelines, the Access Board proposes that the onboard wheelchair be designed such that it can fully enter the aircraft lavatory in a backward orientation, where the seat of the onboard wheelchair slides over the closed toilet allowing the lavatory door to be completely closed with the occupied onboard wheelchair inside. The purpose of allowing the onboard wheelchair to be positioned over the toilet is to provide both privacy and sufficient space for movement so that the occupant can accomplish nontoileting personal hygiene and medically needed tasks in private. In this use, the occupant is not using the toilet. In order to use the toilet, the onboard wheelchair occupant would need to transfer from the onboard wheelchair to the toilet, typically by standing and pivoting 180 degrees. Owing to the small size of lavatories on single-aisle aircraft, such a transfer is typically accomplished with the door to the lavatory open, and the onboard wheelchair partially or fully outside the lavatory. However, many people are unable to perform a stand-and-pivot transfer; the proposed over-toilet positioning would allow these individuals the opportunity to use the lavatory for non-toileting personal hygiene or medically needed tasks that require the privacy afforded by a closed lavatory door. Over-toilet positioning of the onboard wheelchair was of interest to the members of DOT’s ACCESS Advisory Committee and was included in the Committee’s final agreement to the extent that such a design is feasible. The Board seeks comment on whether such a design is feasible. The Board is not VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 aware of any commercially available onboard wheelchair that can be positioned over a toilet; however, researchers from Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany) have been developing a prototype with a cantilever design that could be positioned over the toilet.3 The Board notes that any such design is ‘‘feasible’’ in this context only if it meets all other technical requirements (including collapsibility for storage) and does not involve modification of the aircraft lavatory. Question 1. Is it feasible to design an onboard wheelchair that can be positioned over a toilet without modification to the aircraft lavatory? Please explain the design and engineering considerations that would impact the ability of the onboard wheelchair to maneuver over the toilet. Question 2. If feasible, would this onboard wheelchair also be capable of folding and being stored in an FAAcertified stowage space? Question 3. What are the cost implications associated with the design and manufacture of an onboard wheelchair that can be positioned over a toilet without modification to the aircraft lavatory? 2. Loads The loads that commercially available onboard wheelchairs support vary widely. For example, the overall weight capacity of currently available models varies from approximately 200 to 800 pounds. In the Access Board’s 1987 publication Guidelines for Aircraft Boarding Chairs,4 we recommended that seats support at least 723 pounds (weight of a 99th percentile male with a 3.0 safety factor). See https:// www.access-board.gov/research/ completed-research/guidelines-foraircraft-boarding-chairs. Using updated anthropometrics, the weight of a 99th 3 The prototype developed by Hamburg University features a hole in the seat of the onboard wheelchair so that an occupant could remain in the onboard wheelchair while using the toilet. These guidelines do not contemplate such a use for the onboard wheelchair, as these guidelines call for the onboard wheelchair to be positioned over a closed toilet. We reference the Hamburg University design for its over-toilet positioning capability. 4 After receiving reports of accidents and near accidents involving the use of aircraft boarding chairs, the Access Board sought public comment on the development of voluntary standards for boarding chairs. 49 FR 36210 (Sep. 14, 1984). Based on public comments and various other research, the Board published a proposed advisory standard in 1986 that contained technical specifications for chairs used to board and deplane individuals with mobility disabilities. 51 FR 17762 (May 15, 1986). The Board published the final technical paper, Guidelines for Aircraft Boarding Chairs in 1987. The FAA subsequently adopted portions of the guidelines in its Advisory Circular on Aircraft Boarding Equipment, AC No: 150/5220–21C (6/29/ 2012). PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 percentile male with a 3.0 safety factor would be 826 pounds. See Department of Health and Human Service Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: United States, 2011–2014, Table 6, Line 1 (Aug. 2016). SAE International, in its standard Foldable On-Board Wheelchairs for Passengers with Disabilities, ARP 4120C (Stabilized 2013), requires a different overall load. In the proposed guidelines, the Board reserves provisions for loads related to the seat, arm supports, foot support, casters, and assist handles, pending further information as to what loads are appropriate for an onboard wheelchair design that accomplishes the proposed functions. Specifically, the Board is unaware of any existing industry standards for onboard wheelchairs that are designed to allow over-the-toilet positioning, and therefore does not propose incorporation by reference of the loads of any existing standard, including the loads from the Board’s 1987 Guidelines for Aircraft Boarding Chairs, absent further engineering information. Question 4. If the over-the-toilet positioning is feasible, what should the respective loads be for the seat, arm supports, foot support, casters, and assist handles? Question 5. If the over-the-toilet positioning is not feasible, what should the respective loads be for the seat, arm supports, foot support, casters, and assist handles? B. Section 1: Application and Administration In the proposed guidelines, Section 1 establishes the purpose and the general requirements for application of the onboard wheelchair guidelines. 101.1 Purpose The purpose of these technical specifications is to provide technical assistance for the design of an onboard wheelchair with enhanced safety and stability, and that improves the ability of persons with mobility disabilities to have access to and use of the lavatory for toileting and non-toileting privacy needs, such as administering medication or conducting hygiene related tasks in a safe manner. 101.2 Voluntary Application These Advisory Guidelines for Aircraft Onboard Wheelchairs establish voluntary, non-binding technical guidance for use by airlines and manufacturers of onboard wheelchairs. E:\FR\FM\20AUN1.SGM 20AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Notices 101.3 Dimensions These technical specifications take into consideration adult anthropometrics. For anthropometrics, the Board consulted data from the Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Human Factors Design Standard, HF–STD–001B (Dec. 30, 2016), and the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: United States, 2011–2014 (Aug. 2016). In addition, due to the lack of available updated anthropometrics on feet and seated hip breadth, the Board used data from our 1987 Guidelines for Aircraft Boarding Chairs (which references Wesley Woodson’s 1981 Human Factors Design Handbook). The dimensions of the onboard wheelchair must also account for the aircraft dimensions necessary to ensure that the onboard wheelchair fits through the aisle of the aircraft, into the lavatory, and over the toilet. We therefore seek information on the relevant aircraft measurements necessary to determine the appropriate dimensions of an onboard wheelchair that can fully enter an aircraft lavatory and be positioned over the toilet. Question 6. Is there recent anthropometric data on adult male feet and seated hip breadth that the Access Board should consider? Question 7. Please provide information on aisle width for singleaisle aircraft with more than 125 passenger seats. Question 8. Please provide dimensions for lavatories on single-aisle aircraft with more than 125 passenger seats, including: Width of the doorway opening, height of the lavatory doorway threshold, interior width and depth of the lavatory, clear floor space aside the toilet, and available clearances below the toilet bowl. 101.4 Dimensional Tolerances jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Dimensions are subject to conventional industry tolerances for manufacturing processes, material properties, and field conditions. Question 9. What information or resources are available concerning conventional industry tolerances for manufactured equipment such as onboard wheelchairs? 102 Definitions The following terms are defined in the advisory guidelines: Attendant, caster, and onboard wheelchair. These advisory guidelines rely on the definition of other terms as defined by regulations issued VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 by the Department of Transportation under the Air Carrier Access Act. All other terms should be given their ordinary accepted meaning as implied by the context in which the term is used. Question 10. What other terms, if any, should be defined in this section? C. Section 2 Technical Specifications 201.1 Occupied Movement The technical criteria in 201.1 address the required functionality of an onboard wheelchair while occupied by a passenger. The onboard wheelchair must be designed such that it can move both forward and backward through the aisle of the aircraft. The purpose of requiring movement in both directions is to ensure that a forward entry into a lavatory for transfer, as well as a backward entry into the lavatory if the occupant intends to remain in the onboard wheelchair while inside the lavatory, is possible. Question 11. What concerns are there, if any, about a design that allows for the onboard wheelchair to be maneuvered in both a forward approach and a backward approach to the lavatory? 201.1.1 Lavatory Transfer The purpose of this provision is to ensure that the onboard wheelchair can be maneuvered close enough to the lavatory toilet in a forward orientation such that an occupant who is capable of a stand-and-pivot transfer is able to transfer to the toilet. In a forward approach to the lavatory, the attendant would push the onboard wheelchair partially into the lavatory using the rear assist handles. Once close enough to the toilet for transfer, the attendant or occupant would apply the wheel locks, and the occupant would then stand and pivot to transfer to the toilet.5 201.1.2 Over-Toilet Positioning The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the onboard wheelchair can successfully maneuver into the lavatory and over the closed toilet in a manner that permits the lavatory door to close completely, providing the occupant with privacy. In this use, the attendant would push the onboard wheelchair backward into the lavatory using the assist handles on the front of the chair. 5 The ACCESS Advisory Committee’s agreement indicates that specified aircraft would be required to provide a visual barrier to be used where the door to the lavatory must remain open during transfer. See Resolution of the Department of Transportation Access Committee, Annex A (Nov. 22, 2016), available at https:// www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/ ACCESSCommitteeFinalResolution.11.21.16.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 43103 The attendant would push the onboard wheelchair over the closed toilet, which would permit the lavatory door to close completely. Question 12. What space constraints exist within aircraft lavatories that would prevent the onboard wheelchair from completely entering the lavatory? Question 13. Are there any protruding objects inside aircraft lavatories that would impede over-toilet positioning? If so, please describe the protruding objects. 201.2 Unoccupied Movement When folded, the onboard wheelchair must be maneuverable on its wheels to allow an attendant to transport and stow an unoccupied onboard wheelchair without having to carry it. Question 14. The Access Board is aware that, in practice, unoccupied onboard wheelchairs are sometimes carried by an attendant as opposed to being pushed on their own wheels. Should the onboard wheelchair be required to be maneuverable on its own wheels when unoccupied? 202 Stowage The onboard wheelchair must be collapsible for stowage in one of the spaces certified by the FAA for stowage of onboard wheelchairs (such as a closet or overhead luggage compartment). Question 15. What are the FAAcertified stowage spaces on commercial passenger aircraft with over 125 passenger seats, and what are their respective dimensions? Question 16. Would these proposed technical specifications result in an onboard wheelchair that will fit in at least one of the FAA-certified spaces for onboard wheelchair stowage? If not, how should the specifications be altered so that the onboard wheelchair will fit into such spaces? 203 Stability This provision requires the onboard wheelchair to be stable throughout transport and transfer of the occupant. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that the onboard wheelchair will not tip or fall in any direction during use, which could result in injury to the occupant, attendant, or other passengers. Question 17. What are the stability concerns regarding existing onboard wheelchair models? Question 18. Would a design for overtoilet positioning affect the stability of the onboard wheelchair? Please explain. Question 19. What additional requirements, if any, could be provided to ensure that the onboard wheelchair is stable during use? E:\FR\FM\20AUN1.SGM 20AUN1 43104 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Notices 204 Surface Hazards The purpose of this provision is to reduce the risk of injury by requiring that the onboard wheelchair be free from sharp or abrasive components and have eased edges. Sharp edges or abrasive elements may cause a direct contact injury or result in an occupant or attendant losing his or her grip during positioning or transfer. 205 Instructions In order to ensure the proper operation of the onboard wheelchair, the operation instructions must be prominently displayed. Providing instructions on the onboard wheelchair itself will ensure that any attendant using it will have access to the instructions and understand its proper operation. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES 206.1 (Seat) Height For ease of transfer, the seat height of the onboard wheelchair should be as close to the height of the aircraft seat as possible to permit lateral transfer. See The Impact of Transfer Setup on the Performance of Independent Transfers: Final Report, https://www.herl.pitt.edu/ ab/. The Access Board seeks information on aircraft passenger seat heights and aircraft toilet heights. In the Board’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities, 36 CFR part 1191, and ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles, 36 CFR part 1192, we have routinely required a fixed height of 17 to 19 inches for transfer surfaces (See e.g., 36 CFR 1191, Appendix D, 604.4 (toilet seat), 610.2 (bathtub seats), 610.3 (shower compartment seats), and 903.5 (benches) and 36 CFR 1192.107 and 1192.123 (toilet seat in commuter and intercity rail cars). We are unable to propose a seat height without further information regarding the height of passenger seats and the height of aircraft toilets.6 Question 20. What is the height of seats on single aisle aircraft with more than 125 passenger seats? Please provide the airline, the type of aircraft, class of seating (if there is a difference among classes), and the height of the seats measured from the floor to the 6 The ACCESS Committee’s Agreed Term Sheet indicates that ‘‘Tier 1’’ aircraft will be required to have a lavatory with a toilet height of 17 to 19 inches. Resolution of the Department of Transportation Access Committee, Annex A (Nov. 22, 2016). If this provision is implemented by the Department of Transportation, the Access Board, with additional information regarding the height of a closed toilet lid, could specify an appropriate height for the onboard wheelchair seat. However, because that requirement has not yet been implemented, the Access Board seeks information on existing aircraft toilet dimensions. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 uncompressed top of the cushion or padding. Question 21. Please provide the following dimensions of the height of aircraft toilets: Height of the bowl measured from the floor; height of the toilet seat measured from the rim of the bowl; and height of the closed toilet seat lid measured from the surface upon which it sits. Question 22. What are the design and engineering considerations of an onboard wheelchair with an adjustable seat height? 206.2 (Seat) Size and 206.3 Padding The seat size of the onboard wheelchair is restricted by the width of the aircraft aisle and the doorway opening of the aircraft lavatory. The purpose of this provision is to provide access to the largest number of individuals with disabilities, while also ensuring the onboard wheelchair can function as intended. We propose a seat size of at least 15 inches wide and at least 16 inches deep. These dimensions are consistent with the size required in our Guidelines for Aircraft Boarding Chairs. See https://www.accessboard.gov/research/completed-research/ guidelines-for-aircraft-boarding-chairs 1987. In that technical paper, we opined that the ‘‘narrowest part of the aircraft aisle is generally at the aircraft seat armrest’’ and is 17 inches. Id. at 22. Additionally, we referenced Wesley Woodson’s 1981 Human Factors Design Handbook, which noted that the 95th percentile male seat width was 15.9 inches. Id. Based on both the confines of the aircraft dimensions and human factors, we have determined that 15 inches wide is still a valid width requirement for the onboard wheelchair. Additionally, the Board is proposing that the onboard wheelchair seat be padded or cushioned to preserve skin integrity, minimize injury, prevent spasticity, and provide greater safety and comfort. Question 23. What recent human factors research provides data on seated hip breadth for the 95th percentile male? Question 24. On single-aisle aircraft with more than 125 passenger seats, is there any part of the aircraft aisle that is narrower than 17 inches through which the onboard wheelchair would need to pass to transport a passenger from her seat to the lavatory? Question 25. What are the cost implications, if any, of the proposed seat size? 207 Back Support In determining the proposed height for the onboard wheelchair’s back PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 support, we looked to the current Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Human Factors Design Standard, which indicates that the 95th percentile male for shoulder sitting height is 25.4 inches and the shoulder sitting height for a 5th percentile female is 20 inches. HF– STD001B (Dec. 30, 2016). These measurements reveal an increase in shoulder height from the dimensions used in the Access Board’s 1987 Guidelines for Boarding Chairs, which recommended a minimum back support height of 25 inches.7 Based on this updated anthropometric information, we are proposing that the onboard wheelchair back support be a minimum of 26 inches high above the seat. In addition, we are proposing to allow a gap of no more than 2 inches between the surface of the seat and the bottom of the back support. The purpose of this specification is to ensure that the backrest is positioned low enough to provide support to the occupant, while allowing manufacturing flexibility needed to ensure that the chair can be folded for stowage. Question 26. Is a two-inch gap between the seat and the back support sufficiently large to allow the chair to be folded? Question 27. It is important that the onboard wheelchair provide sufficient trunk support to the occupant. Should these guidelines specify a minimum width for the back support? If so, what should the recommended width be? Question 28. Should these guidelines specify a requirement for head and neck support? What are the design implications of adding head and neck support? Would the onboard wheelchair’s functionality be affected? 208.1 (Arm Support) Length and 208.2 (Arm Support) Position and Securement The Board proposes a requirement of two repositionable arm supports. The purpose of the arm supports on the onboard wheelchair is to provide transfer support to persons using the onboard wheelchair and to allow occupants seated in the chair to reposition themselves. In addition, the arm supports allow onboard wheelchair occupants to stabilize themselves during transport. While both arm supports may be used simultaneously for transfer into and out of the front of the onboard wheelchair, a side transfer from or to an aircraft seat will require the repositioning of one of the arm 7 At that time, the Access Board relied on anthropometrics from Wesley Woodson’s Human Factors Design Handbook (1981) indicating a shoulder height of 25 inches for 95th percentile males and 18 inches for 5th percentile females. E:\FR\FM\20AUN1.SGM 20AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Notices supports. For example, if the occupant is transferring into the onboard wheelchair from the left side of the chair, the arm support on the left side of the chair would be repositioned so as not to obstruct the transfer and the occupant would use the arm support on the right side to assist with transfer. The proposed length of these supports is 15 inches. The proposed length is based on anthropometrics of elbow-grip length, which is the horizontal distance from the back of the elbow to the center of the clenched fist: 15.4 inches for 95th percentile males and 11.8 inches for 5th percentile females. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Human Factors Design Standard, HF–STD–001B, 5.12.3.2.1.23 (Dec. 30, 2016). Question 29. Should these guidelines specify a width and shape for the armrests in order to achieve the purpose of this provision? If so, what armrest width and shape would be optimal to provide support during transfer and repositioning? jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES 209.1 (Foot Support) Size and 209.2 Position and Securement The purpose of the foot support is to provide support and stability for the occupant’s feet and legs during transport, as well as to assist the occupant with repositioning and transferring. In determining the appropriate size of the foot support, we considered anthropometric data of the human foot size. As noted above, we were unable to locate recent anthropometric data on feet, and thus relied on data from Wesley Woodson’s 1981 Human Factors Design Handbook, which we referenced in our Guidelines for Aircraft Boarding Chairs (1987). This research indicates a foot breadth of 4.3 inches and foot length of 11.2 inches for 95th percentile males and a foot breadth of 3.2 inches and foot length of 8.7 inches for 5th percentile females. Based on this information, and taking into consideration additional space for footwear, the Access Board proposes a unitary foot support that is a minimum of 9 inches wide and 12 inches deep. The unitary support allows for more stability as both feet move together. Further, the unitary support design requires fewer moving parts. Finally, the foot support must be repositionable so as not to obstruct transfer to or from the side or front of the onboard wheelchair. Question 30. Is the proposed size of the foot support sufficient to provide a stable support for both feet? Question 31. Do the proposed design, size, and repositionability of the foot support present any design or VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 engineering concerns? Please describe those concerns, if any. Question 32. Should the footrest fold in a specific direction, such as up or off to one side? If so, what direction should be specified and why? 209.3 (Foot Support) Threshold Clearance The Access Board proposes that the bottom of the foot support be at least 0.75 inches higher than the highest point of the lavatory doorway threshold. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that the onboard wheelchair can easily and safely maneuver over the lavatory threshold to enter the lavatory in both a forward and backward approach. Question 33. Are there any other barriers besides the lavatory threshold that would require the foot support to clear a specific height? 210.1 (Caster) Swivel Locks and 210.2 Wheel Locks The Board proposes that onboard wheelchairs have independent caster wheels for maximum maneuverability in the tight spaces of an aircraft cabin and lavatory. For safety and stability, the Board proposes that each caster provide a swivel lock and a wheel lock. The purpose of the swivel locks is to allow an attendant to lock the wheels in position for linear movement, providing greater stability and directional control as the attendant pushes the chair down the aisle. The wheel locks ensure the onboard wheelchair can be secured in a static position for transfer or for use inside the lavatory. Question 34. Should these guidelines specify a size of the caster wheels? If so, what size wheel would ensure stability of the onboard wheelchair and allow the chair to easily traverse the lavatory doorway threshold? Question 35. What would be the cost implications of a requirement that the caster wheels have a five-inch diameter? Question 36. Is it necessary for safety and stability that each caster have a swivel lock? Would swivel locks on two wheels be sufficient? Please explain. Question 37. Please explain the design and engineering considerations involved in the provision of a wheel lock system that engages each caster wheel. What are the safety concerns with a chair that has locks on only two caster wheels? Question 38. What are the engineering and design implications of a requirement for the swivel and wheel locks to be operable by the occupant? Question 39. What effect on stability, if any, results from a requirement that all wheels be independent casters? PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 43105 Question 40. Is it necessary for maneuverability that each wheel of the onboard wheelchair be an independent caster? Could an onboard wheelchair easily maneuver through the aisle and into the lavatory in both a forward and backward approach with fewer casters? If so, which wheels should be required to be independent casters and why? 211.1 Rear Assist Handles The purpose of the rear assist handles is to allow the attendant to push or pull the occupied onboard wheelchair through the aircraft aisle. In addition, the attendant may use the rear assist handles to maneuver the onboard wheelchair into the lavatory in a forward orientation. Question 41. Is it necessary for the rear assist handles to be repositionable to allow for over-toilet positioning of the onboard wheelchair? 211.2 Front Assist Handles The purpose of the front assist handles is to allow the attendant to maneuver the occupied onboard wheelchair into the lavatory in a backward approach, position the onboard wheelchair over the toilet, and maneuver the onboard wheelchair out of the lavatory. The front assist handles must be capable of being repositioned so as not to obstruct transfer. The Board envisions that these assist handles would be attached to the onboard wheelchair at seat or knee height, similar to the design of some current models of aircraft boarding chairs. Question 42. Are there any existing onboard wheelchairs that have front assist handles? If so, where are the assist handles located? Question 43. Are there any engineering or design concerns regarding front assist handles? 212 Restraints This provision requires that the onboard wheelchair be equipped with both torso and leg restraints. The torso restraints are intended to secure the upper and lower torso of the occupant in the onboard wheelchair and the leg restraints are intended to maintain the legs of the occupant in the correct position during transport. The purpose of these restraints is to keep the occupant securely seated in the chair and prevent injury during transport through the aircraft. These restraints must be designed such that they can be repositioned so as not to obstruct transfer of the occupant to or from the onboard wheelchair. The fastening mechanisms of the restraints must be operable by the occupant so that the occupant may fasten the restraints E:\FR\FM\20AUN1.SGM 20AUN1 43106 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Notices unassisted if desired. Finally, the restraints must be durable. The Access Board is aware of durability issues related to certain types of fasteners, such as hook-and-loop strip fasteners. The Board seeks comment on whether a specific type of fastener should be specified (or prohibited) by these guidelines. Question 44. Are additional restraints needed to ensure safe use of the onboard wheelchair? Question 45. Is it feasible to provide retractable restraints that auto-adjust (similar to the retractable seatbelts in cars)? Question 46. Should specific types of fasteners be required or prohibited to ensure durability? For the reasons stated in this notice, the Board proposes Advisory Guidelines for Aircraft Onboard Wheelchairs as follows: Advisory Guidelines for Aircraft Onboard Wheelchairs Section 1: General jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES 101 General 101.1 Purpose. These recommended specifications for onboard wheelchairs are intended to improve accessibility of a non-accessible lavatory on a singleaisle aircraft with more than 125 passenger seats by improving the functionality and usability of onboard wheelchairs. 101.2 Voluntary Application. This guidance is not legally binding in its own right. Conformity with this guidance document is voluntary only, and nonconformity will not affect rights and obligations under existing statutes and regulations. This guidance provides one example of carriers might satisfy performance standards for onboard wheelchairs on covered aircraft. 101.3 Dimensions. These technical specifications are based on adult dimensions and anthropometrics. 101.4 Dimensional Tolerances. All dimensions are subject to conventional industry tolerances for manufacturing processes, material properties, and field conditions. 101.5 Units of Measurement. Measurements are stated in U.S. customary and metric units. The values stated in each system (U.S. customary and metric units) may not be exact equivalents, and each system should be able to be used independently of the other. 102 Definitions 102.1 Defined Terms. For the purpose of this document, the following terms have the indicated meaning. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 Attendant. An individual who is assisting the occupant in using or operating the onboard wheelchair. Caster. A wheel on a swivel assembly permitting the wheel to freely turn around its vertical axis. Onboard Wheelchair. A wheelchair that is used to transport a person with a mobility disability between an aircraft seat and an aircraft lavatory. 102.2 Other Defined Terms. Terms defined in regulations issued by the Department of Transportation to implement the Air Carrier Access Act (14 CFR 382) and not defined in 102.1, shall have the meaning as defined in the Department of Transportation’s regulations. 102.3 Undefined Terms. Any term not defined in 102.1 or in the Department of Transportation’s regulations shall be given its ordinarily accepted meaning in the sense that the context implies. 102.4 Interchangeability. Words, terms, and phrases used in the singular include the plural and those used in the plural include the singular. Section 2: Technical Specifications 201 Maneuverability. The onboard wheelchair must be maneuverable by an attendant on the aircraft. 201.1 Occupied Movement. The onboard wheelchair shall be designed to be moved both forward and backward through the aircraft aisle by an attendant. 201.1.1 Lavatory Transfer. The onboard wheelchair shall be designed to be maneuvered in a forward orientation partially into at least one aircraft lavatory to permit transfer from the onboard wheelchair to the toilet. 201.1.2 Over-Toilet Positioning. Onboard wheelchairs shall be designed to be maneuvered in a backward orientation to permit positioning over the closed toilet without protruding into the clear space needed to completely close the lavatory door, unless the lavatory already permits the occupant of the onboard wheelchair to enter, close the door, and independently transfer from the onboard wheelchair to the toilet. 201.2 Unoccupied Movement. When folded, the onboard wheelchair shall be capable of being moved on its own wheels. 202 Stowage. Onboard wheelchairs shall fit within at least one of the available certified onboard wheelchair stowage spaces consistent with weight and space limits applicable to each carrier’s aircraft models. 203 Stability. When occupied for use, the onboard wheelchair shall not tip or fall in any direction under normal PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 operating conditions, including when the swivel locks on the casters are engaged or when the wheel locks are applied. 204 Surface Hazards. The onboard wheelchair shall be free of sharp or abrasive components and shall have eased edges. 205 Instructions. The onboard wheelchair shall prominently display instructions for proper operation and stowage. 206 Seat. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide a seat that meets the following specifications: 206.1 Height. The top of the seat of the onboard wheelchair when uncompressed shall align with the height of the top of an aircraft seat when uncompressed to the maximum extent practicable. 206.2 Size. The surface of the seat shall be 15 inches (381 mm) wide minimum and 16 inches (406 mm) deep minimum. 206.3 Padding. The seat shall be a solid surface that is padded or cushioned. 206.4 Load. [Reserved.] 207 Back Support. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide a back support that meets the following recommended specifications: 207.1 Size. The back support shall extend from a point 2 inches (51 mm) maximum above the surface of the seat to a point 26 inches (660 mm) minimum above the surface of the seat. 207.2 Padding. The backrest shall be padded or cushioned. 207.3 Load. [Reserved.] 208 Arm Supports. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide two arm supports that meet the following recommended specifications: 208.1 Length. Arm supports shall have a length of 15 inches (381 mm) minimum. 208.2 Positions and Securement. Arm supports shall be repositionable so as not to obstruct transfer of the occupant to or from the seat of the onboard wheelchair. Arm supports shall be secure in their fittings when in place for transfer. 208.3 Load. [Reserved.] 209 Foot Support. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide foot support that meets the following recommended specifications: 209.1 Size. The foot support shall be unitary and shall be 9 inches (229 mm) wide minimum and 12 inches (305 mm) deep minimum. 209.2 Positions and Securement. The foot support shall be repositionable so as not to obstruct transfer of the occupant to or from the seat of the onboard wheelchair. Foot supports shall E:\FR\FM\20AUN1.SGM 20AUN1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Notices be secure in their fittings when in place for transfer. 209.3 Threshold Clearance. When the onboard wheelchair is unoccupied, the underside of the foot support shall clear the highest point of the lavatory door threshold by 0.75 inches (19 mm) minimum. 209.4 Load. [Reserved.] 210 Casters. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide independent casters that meet the following recommended specifications: 210.1 Swivel Locks. Each caster shall provide a swivel lock that, when engaged, prevents the caster wheel from swiveling on its vertical axis and permits rotation of the wheel only in the direction of travel. 210.2 Wheel Locks. Each caster shall provide wheel locks that, when engaged, prevent rotation of the wheel and permits the onboard wheelchair to be secured in a stationary position. 210.3emsp;Load. [Reserved.] 211 Assist Handles. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide assist handles that meet the following recommended specifications: 211.1 Rear Assist Handles. At least two assist handles shall be provided on the rear of the onboard wheelchair. 211.2 Front Assist Handles. At least two assist handles shall be provided on the front of the onboard wheelchair. The assist handles shall be capable of being repositioned so as not to obstruct transfer of the occupant to or from the onboard wheelchair. 211.3 Load. [Reserved.] 212 Restraints. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide functioning torso restraints and leg restraints that meet the following recommended specifications: 212.1 Torso Restraints. Torso restraints shall secure the upper and lower torso of the occupant of the onboard wheelchair so as to prevent the occupant from falling out of the onboard wheelchair during transport. 212.2 Leg Restraints. Leg restraints shall maintain the legs of the occupant in position during transport. 212.3 Fastening Mechanisms. Fastening mechanisms for restraints shall be durable and operable by the occupant. 212.4 Positions. Restraints and their attachments shall be capable of being repositioned so as not to obstruct transfer of the occupant to or from the seat of the onboard wheelchair. David M. Capozzi, Executive Director. [FR Doc. 2019–17873 Filed 8–19–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8150–01–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Wyoming Advisory Committee U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. ACTION: Announcement of meeting. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that the meeting of the Wyoming Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 11:00 a.m. (MDT) Thursday, September 26, 2019. The purpose of this meeting is for the Committee to continue planning briefing on hate crimes. DATES: Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. MDT. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ana Victoria Fortes (DFO) at afortes@ usccr.gov or (213) 894–3437. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Call Information: Dial: 800– 353–6461; Conference ID: 8263473. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 800–353–6461, conference ID number: 8263473. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over landline connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number. Members of the public are entitled to make comments during the open period at the end of the meeting. Members of the public may also submit written comments; the comments must be received in the Regional Programs Unit within 30 days following the meeting. Written comments may be mailed to the Western Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 300 North Los Angeles Street, Suite 2010, Los Angeles, CA 90012. They may be faxed to the Commission at (213) 894–0508, or emailed Ana Victoria Fortes at afortes@ usccr.gov. Persons who desire additional information may contact the Regional Programs Unit at (213) 894– 3437. Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 43107 public viewing prior to and after the meetings at https:// www.facadatabase.gov/FACA/FACA PublicViewCommitteeDetails? id=a10t0000001gzliAAA. Please click on ‘‘Committee Meetings’’ tab. Records generated from these meetings may also be inspected and reproduced at the Regional Programs Unit, as they become available, both before and after the meetings. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission’s website, https://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Regional Programs Unit at the above email or street address. Agenda I. Welcome and Roll Call II. Approval of Minutes From August 13, 2019 Meeting III. Continue Planning Briefing on Hate Crimes IV. Next Steps V. Public Comment VI. Adjournment Dated: August 14, 2019. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit. [FR Doc. 2019–17801 Filed 8–19–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the California Advisory Committee U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. ACTION: Announcement of meeting. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the California Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 2:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Tuesday, August 27, 2019. The purpose of the meeting is for the Committee to continue planning their October 16, 2019 briefing focused on the impact of immigration enforcement on California children. DATES: The meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 27, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. PT. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ana Victoria Fortes at afortes@usccr.gov or (213) 894–3437. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Call Information: Dial: 800– 367–2403; Conference ID: 1709830. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 800–367–2403, conference ID E:\FR\FM\20AUN1.SGM 20AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 161 (Tuesday, August 20, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 43100-43107]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-17873]


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ARCHITECTURAL AND TRANSPORTATION BARRIERS COMPLIANCE BOARD

[Docket No. ATBCB-2019-0002]


Advisory Guidelines for Aircraft Onboard Wheelchairs

AGENCY: Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.

ACTION: Invitation for public comment on proposed advisory guidelines 
for aircraft onboard wheelchairs.

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SUMMARY: The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board 
(hereafter, ``Access Board,'' ``Board,'' or ``we'') invites public 
comment on proposed non-binding advisory guidelines for wheelchairs 
used within aircraft cabins primarily to transport individuals with 
disabilities between seat and lavatory, which we refer to as ``onboard 
wheelchairs.'' The Access Board is developing these advisory guidelines 
as technical assistance to air carriers by providing one example of how 
they might satisfy performance standards for onboard wheelchairs on 
covered aircraft, which the Department of Transportation (DOT) expects 
to establish in a forthcoming rulemaking under the Air Carrier Access 
Act. Even if adopted by the Access Board, these guidelines will not be 
legally binding on any regulated entity. Whether, or to what extent, 
DOT subsequently references, incorporates, or adopts these guidelines 
falls under the department's exclusive authority.

DATES: Submit comments by October 21, 2019.
    Public hearing: September 12, 2019, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    Public testimony: Send requests to present oral testimony by 
September 5, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Public hearing: The public hearing location is 1331 F Street 
NW, Suite 800, Washington DC 20004.
    Witnesses can testify in person or by telephone. Call-in 
information and a communication access real-time translation (CART) web 
streaming link will be posted on the Access Board's website at http://www.access-board.gov/onboard. The hearing will be accessible to persons 
with disabilities. An assistive listening system, communication access 
real-time translation, and sign language interpreters will be provided. 
Persons attending the hearing are requested to refrain from using 
perfume, cologne, and other fragrances for the comfort of other 
participants (see www.access-board.gov/about/policies/fragrance.htm for 
more information).
    Comments: Submit comments identified by docket number ATBCB-2019-
0002, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: board.gov">[email protected]board.gov. Include docket number 
ATBCB-2019-0002 in the subject line of the message.
     Fax: 202-272-0081.
     Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Office of Technical and 
Information Services, Access Board, 1331 F Street NW, Suite 1000, 
Washington, DC 20004-1111.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number for this notice. All comments received will be posted 
without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov.

[[Page 43101]]

    Public testimony: Send requests to present oral testimony to Rose 
Marie Bunales at (202) 272-0006 (voice) or board.gov">[email protected]board.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Wendy Marshall, Access Board, 1331 F 
Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004-1111; Telephone: (202) 272-
0043 (voice); Email: board.gov">[email protected]board.gov; or Mario Damiani, 
Access Board, 1331 F Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004-1111; 
Telephone: (202) 272-0050 (voice); Email: board.gov">[email protected]board.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Purpose

    The purpose of these advisory guidelines for onboard wheelchairs is 
to provide air carriers and onboard wheelchair manufacturers with 
technical assistance in meeting their obligations under the Air Carrier 
Access Act. 49 U.S.C. 41705. The Department of Transportation has 
indicated an intent to issue regulations under the Air Carrier Access 
Act that seek to implement the final resolution of a negotiated 
rulemaking, described in more detail below. See Resolution of the 
Department of Transportation Access Committee, Annex A (Nov. 22, 2016), 
available at https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/ACCESSCommitteeFinalResolution.11.21.16.pdf. The agreed-upon terms 
include a requirement for an onboard wheelchair of enhanced 
functionality on specified commercial aircraft of more than 125 
passenger seats. The Department of Transportation has sought technical 
assistance from the Access Board in providing specifications that would 
meet a future mandatory performance standard, issued by the Department, 
for such onboard wheelchairs.
    Similar to the existing onboard wheelchair regulations at 14 CFR 
382.65(c), it is expected that the new standards the Department of 
Transportation intends to issue as a result of the negotiated 
rulemaking will be performance standards. This means that the 
contemplated regulations would require onboard wheelchairs to have 
certain features and meet established functional criteria but would not 
specify technical requirements such as dimensions for specific 
features. The Access Board's advisory guidelines would serve as 
technical assistance for covered air carriers, providing one example of 
how covered air carriers might satisfy the performance standard for 
onboard wheelchairs established by DOT in its forthcoming rulemaking. 
These advisory guidelines contain recommended dimensions and other 
technical specifications that would help manufacturers optimize the 
design of a comfortable and functional chair and assist air carriers in 
the selection of onboard wheelchair models that best serve passengers 
with disabilities. Even if adopted by the Access Board, these 
guidelines will not be legally binding on any regulated entity. Whether 
or to what extent DOT subsequently references, incorporates, or adopts 
these guidelines falls under the department's exclusive authority. 
Nonetheless, it is the Access Board's understanding that DOT does not 
intend to issue any regulatory standards that would make non-
conformance with these advisory guidelines a separate basis for 
affirmative enforcement action or imposition of administrative 
penalties.

II. Background

    In 2016, the Department of Transportation established an Advisory 
Committee on Accessible Air Transportation (hereafter, ``ACCESS 
Advisory Committee'' or ``Committee'') to negotiate and develop a 
proposed rule concerning various accommodations for air travelers with 
disabilities, including the accessibility of lavatories on new single-
aisle aircraft. See Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air 
Travel; Establishment of a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, 81 FR 20265 
(Apr. 7, 2016). The Committee consisted of airline representatives, 
aircraft manufacturing representatives, representatives from disability 
rights advocacy organizations, and other stakeholders.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Full membership of the Committee can be viewed at DOT's 
Notice of Negotiated Rulemaking (Reg-Neg) Committee Membership and 
Public Meeting, 81 FR 26178 (May 2, 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Committee agreed to specific incremental accessibility 
solutions with respect to aircraft lavatories. The accessibility 
solutions culminate in the requirement for installation on certain 
single-aisle aircraft of a lavatory of sufficient size to allow 
individuals with mobility disabilities to transfer from an onboard 
wheelchair to the toilet (and vice versa). However, by the terms of the 
Committee's agreement, it will be at least twenty years before these 
lavatories are installed in single-aisle aircraft. See Resolution of 
the Department of Transportation Access Committee, Annex A (Nov. 22, 
2016), available at https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/ACCESSCommitteeFinalResolution.11.21.16.pdf.
    In the interim, the Committee agreed to pursue improvements to the 
onboard wheelchairs that individuals with certain types of mobility 
disabilities must use to move between the aircraft seat and the 
lavatory. See Id. DOT currently requires air carriers to provide 
onboard wheelchairs on most aircraft with more than sixty passenger 
seats that have an accessible lavatory and when requested by a 
passenger with a disability even if the aircraft does not have an 
accessible lavatory. 14 CFR 382.65(b). DOT specifies certain features 
that onboard wheelchairs must have and performance criteria that they 
must meet. 14 CFR 382.65(c). Because of the general nature of these 
performance criteria, there is little standardization across 
manufacturers with respect to the design of onboard wheelchairs. The 
Committee agreed to pursue an onboard wheelchair design that, if 
feasible, could be positioned over a closed toilet to allow for better 
use of the other features of a lavatory, including the privacy afforded 
by a closed door. The Committee also acknowledged the existence of 
safety and usability challenges with traditional onboard wheelchair 
models. The Committee thus agreed that DOT should develop new standards 
for onboard wheelchairs, and that, in the future, certain aircraft \2\ 
would be required to provide an onboard wheelchair that meets those 
standards.
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    \2\ By the terms of the ACCESS Committee's final resolution, the 
new requirements for onboard wheelchairs would apply to ``New 
covered single aisle aircraft with 125 FAA maximum certified 
passenger seats entering service 3 years after the effective date of 
the Final Rule.'' Resolution of the U.S. Department of 
Transportation Access Committee, Annex A (Nov. 22, 2016), available 
at https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/ACCESSCommitteeFinalResolution.11.21.16.pdf.
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    In response to the Committee's agreement, DOT requested technical 
assistance from the Access Board in developing advisory guidelines that 
would address the Committee's concerns. The Access Board proposes the 
below advisory guidelines in response to this request.

III. Legal Authority

    The Air Carrier Access Act permits the Department of Transportation 
to seek assistance from the Access Board for the provision of 
``technical assistance to air carriers and individuals with 
disabilities in understanding the rights and responsibilities'' under 
the Act. 49 U.S.C. 41705.
    In addition, Section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as 
amended, tasks the Access Board with statutory authorities relating to 
transportation barriers confronting persons with disabilities. See 29 
U.S.C. 792. Specifically, the Board is directed to ``investigate and 
examine alternative

[[Page 43102]]

approaches to the architectural, transportation, communication, and 
attitudinal barriers confronting individuals with disabilities, 
particularly with respect to telecommunications devices, public 
buildings and monuments, parks and parklands, public transportation 
(including air, water, and surface transportation, whether interstate, 
foreign, intrastate, or local), and residential and institutional 
housing,'' and to ``ensure that public conveyances, including rolling 
stock, are readily accessible to, and usable by, individuals with 
physical disabilities.'' Id. at 792(b)(5) and (b)(10). Further, the 
Access Board is charged with promoting accessibility throughout all 
segments of society. Id. at (b)(4).

IV. Discussion of Proposed Guidelines

A. Design Considerations

1. Over-Toilet Position
    In these advisory guidelines, the Access Board proposes that the 
onboard wheelchair be designed such that it can fully enter the 
aircraft lavatory in a backward orientation, where the seat of the 
onboard wheelchair slides over the closed toilet allowing the lavatory 
door to be completely closed with the occupied onboard wheelchair 
inside. The purpose of allowing the onboard wheelchair to be positioned 
over the toilet is to provide both privacy and sufficient space for 
movement so that the occupant can accomplish non-toileting personal 
hygiene and medically needed tasks in private. In this use, the 
occupant is not using the toilet. In order to use the toilet, the 
onboard wheelchair occupant would need to transfer from the onboard 
wheelchair to the toilet, typically by standing and pivoting 180 
degrees. Owing to the small size of lavatories on single-aisle 
aircraft, such a transfer is typically accomplished with the door to 
the lavatory open, and the onboard wheelchair partially or fully 
outside the lavatory. However, many people are unable to perform a 
stand-and-pivot transfer; the proposed over-toilet positioning would 
allow these individuals the opportunity to use the lavatory for non-
toileting personal hygiene or medically needed tasks that require the 
privacy afforded by a closed lavatory door.
    Over-toilet positioning of the onboard wheelchair was of interest 
to the members of DOT's ACCESS Advisory Committee and was included in 
the Committee's final agreement to the extent that such a design is 
feasible. The Board seeks comment on whether such a design is feasible. 
The Board is not aware of any commercially available onboard wheelchair 
that can be positioned over a toilet; however, researchers from Hamburg 
University of Applied Sciences (Germany) have been developing a 
prototype with a cantilever design that could be positioned over the 
toilet.\3\ The Board notes that any such design is ``feasible'' in this 
context only if it meets all other technical requirements (including 
collapsibility for storage) and does not involve modification of the 
aircraft lavatory.
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    \3\ The prototype developed by Hamburg University features a 
hole in the seat of the onboard wheelchair so that an occupant could 
remain in the onboard wheelchair while using the toilet. These 
guidelines do not contemplate such a use for the onboard wheelchair, 
as these guidelines call for the onboard wheelchair to be positioned 
over a closed toilet. We reference the Hamburg University design for 
its over-toilet positioning capability.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Question 1. Is it feasible to design an onboard wheelchair that can 
be positioned over a toilet without modification to the aircraft 
lavatory? Please explain the design and engineering considerations that 
would impact the ability of the onboard wheelchair to maneuver over the 
toilet.
    Question 2. If feasible, would this onboard wheelchair also be 
capable of folding and being stored in an FAA-certified stowage space?
    Question 3. What are the cost implications associated with the 
design and manufacture of an onboard wheelchair that can be positioned 
over a toilet without modification to the aircraft lavatory?
2. Loads
    The loads that commercially available onboard wheelchairs support 
vary widely. For example, the overall weight capacity of currently 
available models varies from approximately 200 to 800 pounds. In the 
Access Board's 1987 publication Guidelines for Aircraft Boarding 
Chairs,\4\ we recommended that seats support at least 723 pounds 
(weight of a 99th percentile male with a 3.0 safety factor). See 
https://www.access-board.gov/research/completed-research/guidelines-for-aircraft-boarding-chairs. Using updated anthropometrics, the weight 
of a 99th percentile male with a 3.0 safety factor would be 826 pounds. 
See Department of Health and Human Service Centers for Disease Control 
and Prevention's Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: 
United States, 2011-2014, Table 6, Line 1 (Aug. 2016). SAE 
International, in its standard Foldable On-Board Wheelchairs for 
Passengers with Disabilities, ARP 4120C (Stabilized 2013), requires a 
different overall load. In the proposed guidelines, the Board reserves 
provisions for loads related to the seat, arm supports, foot support, 
casters, and assist handles, pending further information as to what 
loads are appropriate for an onboard wheelchair design that 
accomplishes the proposed functions. Specifically, the Board is unaware 
of any existing industry standards for onboard wheelchairs that are 
designed to allow over-the-toilet positioning, and therefore does not 
propose incorporation by reference of the loads of any existing 
standard, including the loads from the Board's 1987 Guidelines for 
Aircraft Boarding Chairs, absent further engineering information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ After receiving reports of accidents and near accidents 
involving the use of aircraft boarding chairs, the Access Board 
sought public comment on the development of voluntary standards for 
boarding chairs. 49 FR 36210 (Sep. 14, 1984). Based on public 
comments and various other research, the Board published a proposed 
advisory standard in 1986 that contained technical specifications 
for chairs used to board and deplane individuals with mobility 
disabilities. 51 FR 17762 (May 15, 1986). The Board published the 
final technical paper, Guidelines for Aircraft Boarding Chairs in 
1987. The FAA subsequently adopted portions of the guidelines in its 
Advisory Circular on Aircraft Boarding Equipment, AC No: 150/5220-
21C (6/29/2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Question 4. If the over-the-toilet positioning is feasible, what 
should the respective loads be for the seat, arm supports, foot 
support, casters, and assist handles?
    Question 5. If the over-the-toilet positioning is not feasible, 
what should the respective loads be for the seat, arm supports, foot 
support, casters, and assist handles?

B. Section 1: Application and Administration

    In the proposed guidelines, Section 1 establishes the purpose and 
the general requirements for application of the onboard wheelchair 
guidelines.
101.1 Purpose
    The purpose of these technical specifications is to provide 
technical assistance for the design of an onboard wheelchair with 
enhanced safety and stability, and that improves the ability of persons 
with mobility disabilities to have access to and use of the lavatory 
for toileting and non-toileting privacy needs, such as administering 
medication or conducting hygiene related tasks in a safe manner.
101.2 Voluntary Application
    These Advisory Guidelines for Aircraft Onboard Wheelchairs 
establish voluntary, non-binding technical guidance for use by airlines 
and manufacturers of onboard wheelchairs.

[[Page 43103]]

101.3 Dimensions
    These technical specifications take into consideration adult 
anthropometrics. For anthropometrics, the Board consulted data from the 
Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Human 
Factors Design Standard, HF-STD-001B (Dec. 30, 2016), and the 
Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention's Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: 
United States, 2011-2014 (Aug. 2016). In addition, due to the lack of 
available updated anthropometrics on feet and seated hip breadth, the 
Board used data from our 1987 Guidelines for Aircraft Boarding Chairs 
(which references Wesley Woodson's 1981 Human Factors Design Handbook).
    The dimensions of the onboard wheelchair must also account for the 
aircraft dimensions necessary to ensure that the onboard wheelchair 
fits through the aisle of the aircraft, into the lavatory, and over the 
toilet. We therefore seek information on the relevant aircraft 
measurements necessary to determine the appropriate dimensions of an 
onboard wheelchair that can fully enter an aircraft lavatory and be 
positioned over the toilet.
    Question 6. Is there recent anthropometric data on adult male feet 
and seated hip breadth that the Access Board should consider?
    Question 7. Please provide information on aisle width for single-
aisle aircraft with more than 125 passenger seats.
    Question 8. Please provide dimensions for lavatories on single-
aisle aircraft with more than 125 passenger seats, including: Width of 
the doorway opening, height of the lavatory doorway threshold, interior 
width and depth of the lavatory, clear floor space aside the toilet, 
and available clearances below the toilet bowl.
101.4 Dimensional Tolerances
    Dimensions are subject to conventional industry tolerances for 
manufacturing processes, material properties, and field conditions.
    Question 9. What information or resources are available concerning 
conventional industry tolerances for manufactured equipment such as 
onboard wheelchairs?
102 Definitions
    The following terms are defined in the advisory guidelines: 
Attendant, caster, and onboard wheelchair. These advisory guidelines 
rely on the definition of other terms as defined by regulations issued 
by the Department of Transportation under the Air Carrier Access Act. 
All other terms should be given their ordinary accepted meaning as 
implied by the context in which the term is used.
    Question 10. What other terms, if any, should be defined in this 
section?

C. Section 2 Technical Specifications

201.1 Occupied Movement
    The technical criteria in 201.1 address the required functionality 
of an onboard wheelchair while occupied by a passenger. The onboard 
wheelchair must be designed such that it can move both forward and 
backward through the aisle of the aircraft. The purpose of requiring 
movement in both directions is to ensure that a forward entry into a 
lavatory for transfer, as well as a backward entry into the lavatory if 
the occupant intends to remain in the onboard wheelchair while inside 
the lavatory, is possible.
    Question 11. What concerns are there, if any, about a design that 
allows for the onboard wheelchair to be maneuvered in both a forward 
approach and a backward approach to the lavatory?
201.1.1 Lavatory Transfer
    The purpose of this provision is to ensure that the onboard 
wheelchair can be maneuvered close enough to the lavatory toilet in a 
forward orientation such that an occupant who is capable of a stand-
and-pivot transfer is able to transfer to the toilet.
    In a forward approach to the lavatory, the attendant would push the 
onboard wheelchair partially into the lavatory using the rear assist 
handles. Once close enough to the toilet for transfer, the attendant or 
occupant would apply the wheel locks, and the occupant would then stand 
and pivot to transfer to the toilet.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ The ACCESS Advisory Committee's agreement indicates that 
specified aircraft would be required to provide a visual barrier to 
be used where the door to the lavatory must remain open during 
transfer. See Resolution of the Department of Transportation Access 
Committee, Annex A (Nov. 22, 2016), available at https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/ACCESSCommitteeFinalResolution.11.21.16.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

201.1.2 Over-Toilet Positioning
    The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the onboard 
wheelchair can successfully maneuver into the lavatory and over the 
closed toilet in a manner that permits the lavatory door to close 
completely, providing the occupant with privacy. In this use, the 
attendant would push the onboard wheelchair backward into the lavatory 
using the assist handles on the front of the chair. The attendant would 
push the onboard wheelchair over the closed toilet, which would permit 
the lavatory door to close completely.
    Question 12. What space constraints exist within aircraft 
lavatories that would prevent the onboard wheelchair from completely 
entering the lavatory?
    Question 13. Are there any protruding objects inside aircraft 
lavatories that would impede over-toilet positioning? If so, please 
describe the protruding objects.
201.2 Unoccupied Movement
    When folded, the onboard wheelchair must be maneuverable on its 
wheels to allow an attendant to transport and stow an unoccupied 
onboard wheelchair without having to carry it.
    Question 14. The Access Board is aware that, in practice, 
unoccupied onboard wheelchairs are sometimes carried by an attendant as 
opposed to being pushed on their own wheels. Should the onboard 
wheelchair be required to be maneuverable on its own wheels when 
unoccupied?
202 Stowage
    The onboard wheelchair must be collapsible for stowage in one of 
the spaces certified by the FAA for stowage of onboard wheelchairs 
(such as a closet or overhead luggage compartment).
    Question 15. What are the FAA-certified stowage spaces on 
commercial passenger aircraft with over 125 passenger seats, and what 
are their respective dimensions?
    Question 16. Would these proposed technical specifications result 
in an onboard wheelchair that will fit in at least one of the FAA-
certified spaces for onboard wheelchair stowage? If not, how should the 
specifications be altered so that the onboard wheelchair will fit into 
such spaces?
203 Stability
    This provision requires the onboard wheelchair to be stable 
throughout transport and transfer of the occupant. The purpose of this 
provision is to ensure that the onboard wheelchair will not tip or fall 
in any direction during use, which could result in injury to the 
occupant, attendant, or other passengers.
    Question 17. What are the stability concerns regarding existing 
onboard wheelchair models?
    Question 18. Would a design for over-toilet positioning affect the 
stability of the onboard wheelchair? Please explain.
    Question 19. What additional requirements, if any, could be 
provided to ensure that the onboard wheelchair is stable during use?

[[Page 43104]]

204 Surface Hazards
    The purpose of this provision is to reduce the risk of injury by 
requiring that the onboard wheelchair be free from sharp or abrasive 
components and have eased edges. Sharp edges or abrasive elements may 
cause a direct contact injury or result in an occupant or attendant 
losing his or her grip during positioning or transfer.
205 Instructions
    In order to ensure the proper operation of the onboard wheelchair, 
the operation instructions must be prominently displayed. Providing 
instructions on the onboard wheelchair itself will ensure that any 
attendant using it will have access to the instructions and understand 
its proper operation.
206.1 (Seat) Height
    For ease of transfer, the seat height of the onboard wheelchair 
should be as close to the height of the aircraft seat as possible to 
permit lateral transfer. See The Impact of Transfer Setup on the 
Performance of Independent Transfers: Final Report, https://www.herl.pitt.edu/ab/. The Access Board seeks information on aircraft 
passenger seat heights and aircraft toilet heights. In the Board's 
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines for 
Buildings and Facilities, 36 CFR part 1191, and ADA Accessibility 
Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles, 36 CFR part 1192, we have 
routinely required a fixed height of 17 to 19 inches for transfer 
surfaces (See e.g., 36 CFR 1191, Appendix D, 604.4 (toilet seat), 610.2 
(bathtub seats), 610.3 (shower compartment seats), and 903.5 (benches) 
and 36 CFR 1192.107 and 1192.123 (toilet seat in commuter and intercity 
rail cars). We are unable to propose a seat height without further 
information regarding the height of passenger seats and the height of 
aircraft toilets.\6\
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    \6\ The ACCESS Committee's Agreed Term Sheet indicates that 
``Tier 1'' aircraft will be required to have a lavatory with a 
toilet height of 17 to 19 inches. Resolution of the Department of 
Transportation Access Committee, Annex A (Nov. 22, 2016). If this 
provision is implemented by the Department of Transportation, the 
Access Board, with additional information regarding the height of a 
closed toilet lid, could specify an appropriate height for the 
onboard wheelchair seat. However, because that requirement has not 
yet been implemented, the Access Board seeks information on existing 
aircraft toilet dimensions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Question 20. What is the height of seats on single aisle aircraft 
with more than 125 passenger seats? Please provide the airline, the 
type of aircraft, class of seating (if there is a difference among 
classes), and the height of the seats measured from the floor to the 
uncompressed top of the cushion or padding.
    Question 21. Please provide the following dimensions of the height 
of aircraft toilets: Height of the bowl measured from the floor; height 
of the toilet seat measured from the rim of the bowl; and height of the 
closed toilet seat lid measured from the surface upon which it sits.
    Question 22. What are the design and engineering considerations of 
an onboard wheelchair with an adjustable seat height?
206.2 (Seat) Size and 206.3 Padding
    The seat size of the onboard wheelchair is restricted by the width 
of the aircraft aisle and the doorway opening of the aircraft lavatory. 
The purpose of this provision is to provide access to the largest 
number of individuals with disabilities, while also ensuring the 
onboard wheelchair can function as intended. We propose a seat size of 
at least 15 inches wide and at least 16 inches deep. These dimensions 
are consistent with the size required in our Guidelines for Aircraft 
Boarding Chairs. See https://www.access-board.gov/research/completed-research/guidelines-for-aircraft-boarding-chairs 1987. In that 
technical paper, we opined that the ``narrowest part of the aircraft 
aisle is generally at the aircraft seat armrest'' and is 17 inches. Id. 
at 22. Additionally, we referenced Wesley Woodson's 1981 Human Factors 
Design Handbook, which noted that the 95th percentile male seat width 
was 15.9 inches. Id. Based on both the confines of the aircraft 
dimensions and human factors, we have determined that 15 inches wide is 
still a valid width requirement for the onboard wheelchair. 
Additionally, the Board is proposing that the onboard wheelchair seat 
be padded or cushioned to preserve skin integrity, minimize injury, 
prevent spasticity, and provide greater safety and comfort.
    Question 23. What recent human factors research provides data on 
seated hip breadth for the 95th percentile male?
    Question 24. On single-aisle aircraft with more than 125 passenger 
seats, is there any part of the aircraft aisle that is narrower than 17 
inches through which the onboard wheelchair would need to pass to 
transport a passenger from her seat to the lavatory?
    Question 25. What are the cost implications, if any, of the 
proposed seat size?
207 Back Support
    In determining the proposed height for the onboard wheelchair's 
back support, we looked to the current Department of Transportation 
Federal Aviation Administration Human Factors Design Standard, which 
indicates that the 95th percentile male for shoulder sitting height is 
25.4 inches and the shoulder sitting height for a 5th percentile female 
is 20 inches. HF-STD001B (Dec. 30, 2016). These measurements reveal an 
increase in shoulder height from the dimensions used in the Access 
Board's 1987 Guidelines for Boarding Chairs, which recommended a 
minimum back support height of 25 inches.\7\ Based on this updated 
anthropometric information, we are proposing that the onboard 
wheelchair back support be a minimum of 26 inches high above the seat. 
In addition, we are proposing to allow a gap of no more than 2 inches 
between the surface of the seat and the bottom of the back support. The 
purpose of this specification is to ensure that the backrest is 
positioned low enough to provide support to the occupant, while 
allowing manufacturing flexibility needed to ensure that the chair can 
be folded for stowage.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ At that time, the Access Board relied on anthropometrics 
from Wesley Woodson's Human Factors Design Handbook (1981) 
indicating a shoulder height of 25 inches for 95th percentile males 
and 18 inches for 5th percentile females.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Question 26. Is a two-inch gap between the seat and the back 
support sufficiently large to allow the chair to be folded?
    Question 27. It is important that the onboard wheelchair provide 
sufficient trunk support to the occupant. Should these guidelines 
specify a minimum width for the back support? If so, what should the 
recommended width be?
    Question 28. Should these guidelines specify a requirement for head 
and neck support? What are the design implications of adding head and 
neck support? Would the onboard wheelchair's functionality be affected?
208.1 (Arm Support) Length and 208.2 (Arm Support) Position and 
Securement
    The Board proposes a requirement of two repositionable arm 
supports. The purpose of the arm supports on the onboard wheelchair is 
to provide transfer support to persons using the onboard wheelchair and 
to allow occupants seated in the chair to reposition themselves. In 
addition, the arm supports allow onboard wheelchair occupants to 
stabilize themselves during transport. While both arm supports may be 
used simultaneously for transfer into and out of the front of the 
onboard wheelchair, a side transfer from or to an aircraft seat will 
require the repositioning of one of the arm

[[Page 43105]]

supports. For example, if the occupant is transferring into the onboard 
wheelchair from the left side of the chair, the arm support on the left 
side of the chair would be repositioned so as not to obstruct the 
transfer and the occupant would use the arm support on the right side 
to assist with transfer.
    The proposed length of these supports is 15 inches. The proposed 
length is based on anthropometrics of elbow-grip length, which is the 
horizontal distance from the back of the elbow to the center of the 
clenched fist: 15.4 inches for 95th percentile males and 11.8 inches 
for 5th percentile females. Department of Transportation Federal 
Aviation Administration Human Factors Design Standard, HF-STD-001B, 
5.12.3.2.1.23 (Dec. 30, 2016).
    Question 29. Should these guidelines specify a width and shape for 
the armrests in order to achieve the purpose of this provision? If so, 
what armrest width and shape would be optimal to provide support during 
transfer and repositioning?
209.1 (Foot Support) Size and 209.2 Position and Securement
    The purpose of the foot support is to provide support and stability 
for the occupant's feet and legs during transport, as well as to assist 
the occupant with repositioning and transferring. In determining the 
appropriate size of the foot support, we considered anthropometric data 
of the human foot size. As noted above, we were unable to locate recent 
anthropometric data on feet, and thus relied on data from Wesley 
Woodson's 1981 Human Factors Design Handbook, which we referenced in 
our Guidelines for Aircraft Boarding Chairs (1987). This research 
indicates a foot breadth of 4.3 inches and foot length of 11.2 inches 
for 95th percentile males and a foot breadth of 3.2 inches and foot 
length of 8.7 inches for 5th percentile females. Based on this 
information, and taking into consideration additional space for 
footwear, the Access Board proposes a unitary foot support that is a 
minimum of 9 inches wide and 12 inches deep. The unitary support allows 
for more stability as both feet move together. Further, the unitary 
support design requires fewer moving parts. Finally, the foot support 
must be repositionable so as not to obstruct transfer to or from the 
side or front of the onboard wheelchair.
    Question 30. Is the proposed size of the foot support sufficient to 
provide a stable support for both feet?
    Question 31. Do the proposed design, size, and repositionability of 
the foot support present any design or engineering concerns? Please 
describe those concerns, if any.
    Question 32. Should the footrest fold in a specific direction, such 
as up or off to one side? If so, what direction should be specified and 
why?
209.3 (Foot Support) Threshold Clearance
    The Access Board proposes that the bottom of the foot support be at 
least 0.75 inches higher than the highest point of the lavatory doorway 
threshold. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that the onboard 
wheelchair can easily and safely maneuver over the lavatory threshold 
to enter the lavatory in both a forward and backward approach.
    Question 33. Are there any other barriers besides the lavatory 
threshold that would require the foot support to clear a specific 
height?
210.1 (Caster) Swivel Locks and 210.2 Wheel Locks
    The Board proposes that onboard wheelchairs have independent caster 
wheels for maximum maneuverability in the tight spaces of an aircraft 
cabin and lavatory. For safety and stability, the Board proposes that 
each caster provide a swivel lock and a wheel lock. The purpose of the 
swivel locks is to allow an attendant to lock the wheels in position 
for linear movement, providing greater stability and directional 
control as the attendant pushes the chair down the aisle. The wheel 
locks ensure the onboard wheelchair can be secured in a static position 
for transfer or for use inside the lavatory.
    Question 34. Should these guidelines specify a size of the caster 
wheels? If so, what size wheel would ensure stability of the onboard 
wheelchair and allow the chair to easily traverse the lavatory doorway 
threshold?
    Question 35. What would be the cost implications of a requirement 
that the caster wheels have a five-inch diameter?
    Question 36. Is it necessary for safety and stability that each 
caster have a swivel lock? Would swivel locks on two wheels be 
sufficient? Please explain.
    Question 37. Please explain the design and engineering 
considerations involved in the provision of a wheel lock system that 
engages each caster wheel. What are the safety concerns with a chair 
that has locks on only two caster wheels?
    Question 38. What are the engineering and design implications of a 
requirement for the swivel and wheel locks to be operable by the 
occupant?
    Question 39. What effect on stability, if any, results from a 
requirement that all wheels be independent casters?
    Question 40. Is it necessary for maneuverability that each wheel of 
the onboard wheelchair be an independent caster? Could an onboard 
wheelchair easily maneuver through the aisle and into the lavatory in 
both a forward and backward approach with fewer casters? If so, which 
wheels should be required to be independent casters and why?
211.1 Rear Assist Handles
    The purpose of the rear assist handles is to allow the attendant to 
push or pull the occupied onboard wheelchair through the aircraft 
aisle. In addition, the attendant may use the rear assist handles to 
maneuver the onboard wheelchair into the lavatory in a forward 
orientation.
    Question 41. Is it necessary for the rear assist handles to be 
repositionable to allow for over-toilet positioning of the onboard 
wheelchair?
211.2 Front Assist Handles
    The purpose of the front assist handles is to allow the attendant 
to maneuver the occupied onboard wheelchair into the lavatory in a 
backward approach, position the onboard wheelchair over the toilet, and 
maneuver the onboard wheelchair out of the lavatory. The front assist 
handles must be capable of being repositioned so as not to obstruct 
transfer. The Board envisions that these assist handles would be 
attached to the onboard wheelchair at seat or knee height, similar to 
the design of some current models of aircraft boarding chairs.
    Question 42. Are there any existing onboard wheelchairs that have 
front assist handles? If so, where are the assist handles located?
    Question 43. Are there any engineering or design concerns regarding 
front assist handles?
212 Restraints
    This provision requires that the onboard wheelchair be equipped 
with both torso and leg restraints. The torso restraints are intended 
to secure the upper and lower torso of the occupant in the onboard 
wheelchair and the leg restraints are intended to maintain the legs of 
the occupant in the correct position during transport. The purpose of 
these restraints is to keep the occupant securely seated in the chair 
and prevent injury during transport through the aircraft. These 
restraints must be designed such that they can be repositioned so as 
not to obstruct transfer of the occupant to or from the onboard 
wheelchair. The fastening mechanisms of the restraints must be operable 
by the occupant so that the occupant may fasten the restraints

[[Page 43106]]

unassisted if desired. Finally, the restraints must be durable. The 
Access Board is aware of durability issues related to certain types of 
fasteners, such as hook-and-loop strip fasteners. The Board seeks 
comment on whether a specific type of fastener should be specified (or 
prohibited) by these guidelines.
    Question 44. Are additional restraints needed to ensure safe use of 
the onboard wheelchair?
    Question 45. Is it feasible to provide retractable restraints that 
auto-adjust (similar to the retractable seatbelts in cars)?
    Question 46. Should specific types of fasteners be required or 
prohibited to ensure durability?
    For the reasons stated in this notice, the Board proposes Advisory 
Guidelines for Aircraft Onboard Wheelchairs as follows:

Advisory Guidelines for Aircraft Onboard Wheelchairs

Section 1: General

101 General
    101.1 Purpose. These recommended specifications for onboard 
wheelchairs are intended to improve accessibility of a non-accessible 
lavatory on a single-aisle aircraft with more than 125 passenger seats 
by improving the functionality and usability of onboard wheelchairs.
    101.2 Voluntary Application. This guidance is not legally binding 
in its own right. Conformity with this guidance document is voluntary 
only, and nonconformity will not affect rights and obligations under 
existing statutes and regulations. This guidance provides one example 
of carriers might satisfy performance standards for onboard wheelchairs 
on covered aircraft.
    101.3 Dimensions. These technical specifications are based on adult 
dimensions and anthropometrics.
    101.4 Dimensional Tolerances. All dimensions are subject to 
conventional industry tolerances for manufacturing processes, material 
properties, and field conditions.
    101.5 Units of Measurement. Measurements are stated in U.S. 
customary and metric units. The values stated in each system (U.S. 
customary and metric units) may not be exact equivalents, and each 
system should be able to be used independently of the other.
102 Definitions
    102.1 Defined Terms. For the purpose of this document, the 
following terms have the indicated meaning.
    Attendant. An individual who is assisting the occupant in using or 
operating the onboard wheelchair.
    Caster. A wheel on a swivel assembly permitting the wheel to freely 
turn around its vertical axis.
    Onboard Wheelchair. A wheelchair that is used to transport a person 
with a mobility disability between an aircraft seat and an aircraft 
lavatory.
    102.2 Other Defined Terms. Terms defined in regulations issued by 
the Department of Transportation to implement the Air Carrier Access 
Act (14 CFR 382) and not defined in 102.1, shall have the meaning as 
defined in the Department of Transportation's regulations.
    102.3 Undefined Terms. Any term not defined in 102.1 or in the 
Department of Transportation's regulations shall be given its 
ordinarily accepted meaning in the sense that the context implies.
    102.4 Interchangeability. Words, terms, and phrases used in the 
singular include the plural and those used in the plural include the 
singular.

Section 2: Technical Specifications

    201 Maneuverability. The onboard wheelchair must be maneuverable by 
an attendant on the aircraft.
    201.1 Occupied Movement. The onboard wheelchair shall be designed 
to be moved both forward and backward through the aircraft aisle by an 
attendant.
    201.1.1 Lavatory Transfer. The onboard wheelchair shall be designed 
to be maneuvered in a forward orientation partially into at least one 
aircraft lavatory to permit transfer from the onboard wheelchair to the 
toilet.
    201.1.2 Over-Toilet Positioning. Onboard wheelchairs shall be 
designed to be maneuvered in a backward orientation to permit 
positioning over the closed toilet without protruding into the clear 
space needed to completely close the lavatory door, unless the lavatory 
already permits the occupant of the onboard wheelchair to enter, close 
the door, and independently transfer from the onboard wheelchair to the 
toilet.
    201.2 Unoccupied Movement. When folded, the onboard wheelchair 
shall be capable of being moved on its own wheels.
    202 Stowage. Onboard wheelchairs shall fit within at least one of 
the available certified onboard wheelchair stowage spaces consistent 
with weight and space limits applicable to each carrier's aircraft 
models.
    203 Stability. When occupied for use, the onboard wheelchair shall 
not tip or fall in any direction under normal operating conditions, 
including when the swivel locks on the casters are engaged or when the 
wheel locks are applied.
    204 Surface Hazards. The onboard wheelchair shall be free of sharp 
or abrasive components and shall have eased edges.
    205 Instructions. The onboard wheelchair shall prominently display 
instructions for proper operation and stowage.
    206 Seat. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide a seat that meets the 
following specifications:
    206.1 Height. The top of the seat of the onboard wheelchair when 
uncompressed shall align with the height of the top of an aircraft seat 
when uncompressed to the maximum extent practicable.
    206.2 Size. The surface of the seat shall be 15 inches (381 mm) 
wide minimum and 16 inches (406 mm) deep minimum.
    206.3 Padding. The seat shall be a solid surface that is padded or 
cushioned.
    206.4 Load. [Reserved.]
    207 Back Support. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide a back support 
that meets the following recommended specifications:
    207.1 Size. The back support shall extend from a point 2 inches (51 
mm) maximum above the surface of the seat to a point 26 inches (660 mm) 
minimum above the surface of the seat.
    207.2 Padding. The backrest shall be padded or cushioned.
    207.3 Load. [Reserved.]
    208 Arm Supports. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide two arm 
supports that meet the following recommended specifications:
    208.1 Length. Arm supports shall have a length of 15 inches (381 
mm) minimum.
    208.2 Positions and Securement. Arm supports shall be 
repositionable so as not to obstruct transfer of the occupant to or 
from the seat of the onboard wheelchair. Arm supports shall be secure 
in their fittings when in place for transfer.
    208.3 Load. [Reserved.]
    209 Foot Support. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide foot support 
that meets the following recommended specifications:
    209.1 Size. The foot support shall be unitary and shall be 9 inches 
(229 mm) wide minimum and 12 inches (305 mm) deep minimum.
    209.2 Positions and Securement. The foot support shall be 
repositionable so as not to obstruct transfer of the occupant to or 
from the seat of the onboard wheelchair. Foot supports shall

[[Page 43107]]

be secure in their fittings when in place for transfer.
    209.3 Threshold Clearance. When the onboard wheelchair is 
unoccupied, the underside of the foot support shall clear the highest 
point of the lavatory door threshold by 0.75 inches (19 mm) minimum.
    209.4 Load. [Reserved.]
    210 Casters. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide independent casters 
that meet the following recommended specifications:
    210.1 Swivel Locks. Each caster shall provide a swivel lock that, 
when engaged, prevents the caster wheel from swiveling on its vertical 
axis and permits rotation of the wheel only in the direction of travel.
    210.2 Wheel Locks. Each caster shall provide wheel locks that, when 
engaged, prevent rotation of the wheel and permits the onboard 
wheelchair to be secured in a stationary position.
    210.3emsp;Load. [Reserved.]
    211 Assist Handles. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide assist 
handles that meet the following recommended specifications:
    211.1 Rear Assist Handles. At least two assist handles shall be 
provided on the rear of the onboard wheelchair.
    211.2 Front Assist Handles. At least two assist handles shall be 
provided on the front of the onboard wheelchair. The assist handles 
shall be capable of being repositioned so as not to obstruct transfer 
of the occupant to or from the onboard wheelchair.
    211.3 Load. [Reserved.]
    212 Restraints. Onboard wheelchairs shall provide functioning torso 
restraints and leg restraints that meet the following recommended 
specifications:
    212.1 Torso Restraints. Torso restraints shall secure the upper and 
lower torso of the occupant of the onboard wheelchair so as to prevent 
the occupant from falling out of the onboard wheelchair during 
transport.
    212.2 Leg Restraints. Leg restraints shall maintain the legs of the 
occupant in position during transport.
    212.3 Fastening Mechanisms. Fastening mechanisms for restraints 
shall be durable and operable by the occupant.
    212.4 Positions. Restraints and their attachments shall be capable 
of being repositioned so as not to obstruct transfer of the occupant to 
or from the seat of the onboard wheelchair.

David M. Capozzi,
Executive Director.
[FR Doc. 2019-17873 Filed 8-19-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8150-01-P