International Association of
Assistance Dog Partners

NOTE: The Public Comment period ended November 28, 2011. When the U.S. Department of Transportation issues the Final Rule with its decisions on this exciting rule making proposal, we will update this section on IAADP's website. To Read IAADP's Public Comment, scroll down to the end of this page!


Where to Locate a Service Animal Relief Area at Airports?

         Founded in 1993, the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) is a nonprofit cross disability organization which advocates on behalf of disabled persons who work with guide, hearing and service dogs for greater safety and independence. 

         The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) which asks for public comments on whether it should  require airports to make some important additions pertaining to Service Animal Relief Areas for the benefit of the estimated 30,000 Americans who travel by air with dogs trained to assist with their disability. (Note:“assistance dogs” are labeled “service animals” by the federal government. )

        We provide all the information the NPRM contains about issues related to Service Animal Relief Areas on this page below this letter for your reading convenience.  The document is titled “NPRM Excerpts on Service Animal Relief Areas with Comment requests.”
        Briefly put, the DOT discusses the concern disabled passengers may miss connecting flights due to the time consuming problem of the distance they must go to reach a service animal relief area if it is located on the “landside” of the airport and the need to get in line afterwards to go through the security screening checkpoint before being allowed back into the sterile area [secure zone] to return to their gate. 

        The “sterile area” is the DOT’s term for the secure area between the TSA screening checkpoints and the gate where you board your flight.

       The DOT is looking for comments as to whether it should require airports to build a service animal relief area inside “the sterile area” of a terminal to ensure that time and distance do not pose barriers for disabled passengers? This is the most important issue to us.
       The more persons who let the DOT know they care about this issue by making a public comment, the better the chance the decision makers will listen to us rather than to airports which are not in favor of this proposed requirement. See the info below titled “How to Submit a Public Comment.”  It contains a direct link so you can make an online comment right away.  It will only take you a few minutes.  It is easy!

       Your comment should state what you are in favor of and why in your own words. 

        For example, you could support IAADP, asking the DOT to require a minimum of one Service Animal Relief Area located inside the sterile area of each terminal so that time and distance do not impose a hardship on disabled passengers traveling with assistance dogs.

        The DOT also asks if airports should be required to put up Signs to help disabled passengers find the Service Animal Relief Areas?  Another subject for comment is whether airports should be required to show the location of Service Animal Relief Areas on website maps of the airport?
           IAADP says “yes” to these proposed requirements.
       Please participate!  To comment on one or more issues, see the links below.

With great appreciation,
IAADP’s Board of Directors
1 )   NPRM excerpts on Service Animal Relief Areas with Comment requests   click here

2 )    IAADP’s Public Comment     click here

3 )    How to Submit A Public Comment on this Issue!   click here

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