The regulation of the air transport industry has implications for individuals not just in their capacity as consumers, but also as citizens. Transport goes beyond the mere provision of an economic service and enables us to be actively involved in economic and social life. It is, therefore, surprising that in the current framework for regulating the air transport industry, economic regulation seems to have the predominant voice, while social regulation is not given significant emphasis. Regulation 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility (PRM) when travelling by air appears to redress the balance in favour of social regulation. In Recital 1, the measure emphasises the citizenship rights of disabled persons and PRM. Yet, the provisions of the Regulation fail to reflect the tone of the preamble. The provisions make no reference to the need to respect the dignity of disabled persons and PRM. Instead, the measures concentrate on the provision of services to disabled persons and PRM, and on ensuring that airline operators do not discriminate against these passengers. This paper suggests that by failing to make any specific reference to “dignity” in the body of the Regulation, the measure does not protect effectively the values inherent in the notion of citizenship, such as equality of citizenship. By providing a framework in which airlines are required to refrain from discriminating on the basis of disability and age, the EU does not necessarily succeed in promoting equality.
Varney, E. (2007). Social Regulation in the Air Transport Industry – An Examination of Regulation 1107/2006 concerning the Rights of Disabled Persons and Persons with Reduced Mobility when travelling by Air. Zeitschrift für Rechtssoziologie, 28(2), 191-201. https://doi.org/10.1515/zfrs-2007-0208