Thursday, December 15, 2011

NGOs protest AirAsia’s reluctance to use aerobridges


SEVERAL associations and NGOs representing the disabled community gathered to express their disappointment over AirAsia’s move to not use aerobridges at KLIA2, saying that the facility was necessary to ease mobility.

Danny Tan, chief coordinator for the Shuang Fu Disabled Independent Living Association said aerobridges were necessary for the disabled as it not only eases mobility, but enhances safety, security and comfort for all passengers.

Suffering from a disorder called muscular dystrophy, Danny, who is wheelchair-bound, stressed that it was never easy for him to get on to an ambulift due to his fragile condition.

Disgruntled: Representatives from associations for the disabled showing their protest with placards to Fernandes’ statement that the low-cost carrier will not be using aerobridges.

“When I returned from China earlier this year, it rained heavily when the plane touched down at the LCCT and the crew told me that the ambulift was not available, and asked if they could carry me.

“This can be dangerous due to my condition and it is very problematic as only my wife knew how to lift me,” said Tan, who flies four to fives times a year.

Meanwhile, Damai Disabled Persons Association of Selangor and Federal Territory president V. Murugeswaran said aerobridges were necessary, especially when it rains.

“We would like to thank Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) for listening and taking our needs into consideration by building aerobridges,” he told reporters during a press conference held at the Damai Disabled Association in Jalan Carey, Petaling Jaya on Dec 10.

“The Government should make it mandatory for all airlines, including budget air carriers, to use aerobridges at airports,” Murugeswaran said, adding that ambulifts were not a solution to their problems as it can be a hassle and dangerous to the disabled.

The disabled community, including Barrier-free Environment and Accessible Transport (BEAT) has held two protests (in August and October), asking MAHB and the Government to build aerobridges in the new airport terminal.

On Nov 29, MAHB confirmed that the new LCCT in Sepang (KLIA2), which is scheduled to be completed in April 2013, will include 80 aerobridges.

The StarBiz on Nov 30 reported that AirAsia boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes had said the airline will not use the aerobridges at KLIA2 even though MAHB will build them for the new low-cost air terminal.

He said: “For 10 years, AirAsia had run the airline and built it from nothing. We have carried 130 million people and our biggest hub is in Kuala Lumpur where we have not used aerobridges.

“We are confused why they want to spend so much when the client does not want them. What kind of control is there when there is a global economic outlook issue.”

Fernandes said that even Singapore Budget Terminal did not have aerobridges and the Singapore authorities had no intention of building them.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Golongan OKU Kecewa Keputusan AirAsia Tidak Mahu Guna Jambatan Aero Di KLIA2

Golongan OKU Kecewa Keputusan AirAsia Tidak Mahu Guna Jambatan Aero Di KLIA2

KUALA LUMPUR: Sebanyak 10 pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) yang mewakili golongan orang kelainan upaya (OKU) sangat kecewa dengan kenyataan AirAsia bahawa syarikat itu tidak akan menggunakan jambatan udara di KLIA2 apabila lapangan terbang itu siap kelak.
Dalam satu kenyataan bersama yang dikeluarkan di sini Sabtu, NGO itu meminta AirAsia supaya tidak mengenepikan keperluan penumpangnya, terutama golongan OKU, golongan tua, wanita mengandung dan kanak-kanak.
"Jambatan udara bukan sahaja perlu tetapi penting untuk mengurangkan masalah mobiliti dan meningkatkan keselamatan, dan keselesaan kesemua penumpang di dalam semua keadaan cuaca," katanya.
Kesemua NGO itu turut menyeru pihak berkuasa supaya menjadi mandatori bagi kesemua syarikat penerbangan, yang termasuk syarikat penerbangan tambang rendah menggunakan jambatan udara di lapangan terbang yang disediakan kemudahan itu.
Sementara itu, NGO berkenaan menyambut baik keputusan Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd (MAHB) untuk memasang jambatan udara di KLIA2 bagi kemudahan semua pihak.
"Kami mengucapkan terima kasih kepada MAHB kerana mendengar dan menimbangkan keluhan rakyat seperti kami, individu OKU," katanya.
NGO itu ialah Persatuan DAMAI Orang-Orang Kurang Upaya Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan, Persatuan Mobiliti Kuala Lumpur & Selangor, Persatuan Kristian Shuang Fu untuk Orang Kurang Upaya, Majlis Kebangsaan Bagi Orang Buta, Malaysia dan Persatuan Kecederaan Spina Malaysia.
Pusat Maju Diri Y Bagi Orang-Orang Pekak (YMCA), Barrier-free Environment and Accessible Transport (BEAT), United Voice (Self Advocacy Society of Persons with Learning Disabilities Selangor & Kuala Lumpur), Persatuan Orang-Orang Buta Malaysia dan Challenges Magazine dan persatuan spina malaysia