WASHINGTON, D.C — The Department of Transportation issued a final rule revising its Air Carrier Access Act regulation on the transportation of service animals by air. The rule change will make it easier for disabled veterans to travel with their service animals on commercial airlines.
The rule comes on the heels of sponsored legislation by Wyoming Congresswoman and House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney. In November 2019, Rep. Cheney introduced H.R. 4952, “The Strengthening Support For Veterans with Service Animals Act,” which would direct the Department of Transportation to require air carriers to allow service animals to accompany veterans with a service-connected disability during travel.
The proposal called for creating a more streamlined process. The new procedure will require the veteran to show a valid and current VA-issued health ID card that contains the “service-connected” disability designation and a training certificate or credentials from a service-animal organization.
In a statement following the rule change, Cheney explained what motivated her to sponsor this legislation, “This issue came to my attention after I heard from veterans across Wyoming who found it difficult to acquire the paperwork necessary to travel with their service dogs. I applaud the Department of Transportation and Secretary Chao for recognizing the importance of the legislation and taking executive action to enact the provisions that I outlined into law.”
The final rule will be effective 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.