In operation since 26 July 2008, EU 1107/2006 identifies the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air.
EU 1107/2006 assigns each EU member state the obligation to determine enforcement and compensation instruments.
Reduced Mobility Rights has been contacting National Enforcement Bodies of all EU countries. The fact finding mission focuses on collecting and collating information about enforcement instruments, whether Civil penalties or Criminal prosecution, number of complaints handled and number of complaints referred for prosecution.
The picture emerging varies from state to state, highlighting the need for common enforcement criteria and procedures of regulation EU 1107/2006.
"Germany complies with Art 16 of EU 1107/2006 and has integrated its national law with penalties for those who breach 1107/2006," says Cornelia Cramer of the German Civil Aviation Authority (Luftfahrt-Bundesamt - LBA).
The LBA recorded 22 complaints in 2009 and 13 in 2010. In the vast majority of cases, (60% in 2009 and 80% in 2010) complaints concerned lack of assistance by the air carrier. The LBA is actively enforcing EU 1107/2006. Five administrative offense proceedings are on record in 2009 and six in 2010.
Luxembourg enforces EU 1107/2006 by mean of civil penalties, ranging between EURO 2,500 and EURO 10,000. "There have been no enforcement cases in Luxembourg," says Isabelle Welter of the Directorate of Civil Aviation of Luxembourg. "There was only one complaint to date, which found resolution by an agreement with the concerned company".
Norway appears to have a conciliatory approach on enforcement of EU 1107/2006. "The Norwegian Law does foresee a possibility to give sanctions in the case of violation of the regulation," says Anne Helene Fodnes of the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority. "To deal with a persistent breach and where the operator does not meet the instruction, the operator can be given a compulsory fine until the circumstances are corrected. The CAA may also impose an administrative fine as regard to events occurred."
"However, the CAA has as of today not yet made use of the option to give sanctions regarding EU 1107/2006, as we have made use of other corrective actions whenever necessary. So far it has only been necessary with adjustments of the operators handling of the regulations," Miss Fodnes adds.
The Icelandic approach to the enforcement of EU 1107/2006 is both conciliatory and informal. "EU regulation 1107/2006 was incorporated into Icelandic law with regulation 475/2008 in the summer of 2008," says Omar Sveinsson of the Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration. "The ICAA has received no complaints about the regulation."
Checks on compliance to the regulation have been relaxed to date, however things are about to change. "Enforcement has been in the form of telephone calls to airports and air carriers on how they follow the regulation," adds Mr Sveinsson. "The ICAA however intends to make two on sites inspections per year from now on."