Atlanta's airport fixing accessibility issues | News
UPDATE: Following our story on Friday, June 15, Hartsfield-Jackson is making changes to the exterior/departures section of its new international concourse. While the terminal and parking decks are ADA compliant, the drop off area of the departures didn't have a single curb cut out. The arrivals section of the new concourse did have ramps for travelers in wheelchairs.
11Alive's Melissa Long has reached out to the viewer, Ella Dyer, who contacted us about this problem two weeks ago. Ella might still be in France with her husband.
HAPEVILLE, Ga. -- One metro Atlanta woman has filed a claim with the FAA against the Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Elle Dyer's outrage comes after a bad experience at the new international terminal.
Dyer, and her husband Jody are well-traveled. Jody is a businessman, who's been in a wheelchair for more than 40 years. But they noticed there was no curbcut or ramp at the depatures section of the new terminal.
The original terminal has crosswalks for easy access, and so does the arrivals section of the new terminal. But it's missing from departures section in the new concourse.
"Curbcuts are not just for wheelchairs," Dyer said. "Think about it. You push a stroller. It's also for luggage."
Dyer posted her frustration on Facebook and also reached out to the airport on Twitter. The airport's response on Twitter was the same 11Alive received:
"Our intentions were for vehicles dropping off passengers in a wheelchair to pull up directly to the curb... and deploy the wheelchair ramp or lift directly onto the curb. This would allow the wheelchair to exit directly onto the curb, as opposed to dropping passengers into the roadway."
That didn't work for the Dyer's, since Jody was behind the wheel.
"My husband drives," Dyer said. "He's extremely able bodied."
Still, Elle had to step in to get Jody into the new terminal to catch his flight to France.
"My husband is about 150 pounds and the chair is about 20," Dyer explained. "I literally had to lift him and the chair up onto the curb."
Airport officials told 11Alive, "We are now working on additional options for handicap access and we shall share these with you as soon as they are confirmed."
Airport officials added the new international terminal is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and there are handicapped parking sections in the parking decks.