CARES for Special Needs Flyers
ARE YOU FLYING WITH A CHILD WHO HAS SPECIAL NEEDS?
If your child has a disability that requires hauling a brace to provide upper body support in an airplane seat, you know what a hassle it is to make arrangements months in advance with the airline. And you have to do it again before each subsequent trip! Check with your child’s physician or physical therapist to determine if the CARES child aviation restraint provides sufficient upper body support for your child. If it does – no more having to make arrangement weeks or months in advance with airlines because CARES is already certified for kids 22-44 lbs for all phases of flight. So, just book your flight, carry your 1 pound CARES on board in your pocket or purse, install it on any seat in one minute. And know that your child is secure for taxiing, take off, turbulence and landing.
YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS FLYER OVER 44 LBS AND 40 INCHES TALL CAN ALSO USE CARES.
Your special needs flyer over 44 pounds can also use CARES. Be sure you ask for the row in front of the bulkhead (this may be the last row of seats in the plane). This will allow you to use it during all phases of flight from takeoff to landing.
To use CARES on US airlines, older children, teens, and adults with special needs must make a request to the FAA for an “exemption” from the standard CARES height and weight limits. This “exemption” will apply to ALL future flights. The instructions for filing this request follow.
NOTE: When you are ready to purchase your CARES – if your special needs flyer is under 5 ft tall, the regular CARES will fit. If your special needs flyer is close to, or over 5 ft tall, you want to purchase “SPECIAL CARES” which extends to accommodate an adult flyer up to 6 ft.”
What to Expect When You Request a FAA Exemption:
Expect to wait approximately 6-8 weeks for your letter to arrive. Although this is a fairly streamlined and fast process, each exemption is individually reviewed by a small team of technical analysts at the FAA. It takes time to give each request the individual attention it deserves. Please be patient, the nice people at the FAA want to ensure your traveler is as safe and comfortable as you do. But every request can’t be rushed through in time for that trip next week!
What if My Letter Doesn’t Arrive in Time for my Trip?
Relax! The good news is that you can still use your CARES restraint for most of the flight. Without your exemption letter, you will not be allowed to use it during ground movement, take-off, or landing, but you CAN use it during the rest of the flight.
How Do I Make a Request for a FAA Exemption?
To make your request (which the FAA calls a “Petition for Exemption”), please follow the steps outlined below:
- Use the template letter “Request to Use CARES for Larger/Older Persons” below to create your petition in WORD (or other document).
- Complete the items printed in italics inserting the name of your child and other pertinent information where appropriate. Save the document when you are done.
- Go to: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2007-0001-0001. (If this link does not work go to http://www.regulations.gov and enter “FAA-2007-0001-0001″ into the “SEARCH for: Rules, Comments, Adjudications or Supporting documents:” and click “Search”.
- Click the “Comment Now!” button on the right side of the page.
- Fill out the information requested under #1 “ENTER INFORMATION” on the left side of the page.
- Go to #3 “UPLOAD FILES(s) (Optional)”. Click the “Choose File” button and upload the petition you created and saved.
- Click “Submit”
If you need further assistance, you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Template Letter – Request to Use CARES for Larger/Older Persons:-Template begin-
Request to Use CARES Child Restraint System for Larger/Older Persons
I am writing to request an exemption from 14 CFR § 121.311(b) to the extent required for (name) to be able to use an FAA Approved Child Restraint System even though (he or she) exceeds the weight limits for the CRS. In addition, if my petition is granted, I request that any air carrier or commercial operator operating under part 121 while (name) is aboard its aircraft is granted an exemption from 14 CFR § 121.311(b)(2)(iii)(B) to the extent necessary to allow (name) to exceed the specified weight limit for an FAA-approved child restraint system during use of that child restraint system aboard an aircraft.
I believe the pertinent section from 14 CFR part 121 from which we seek relief is Section 121.311 Seats, safety belts, and shoulder harnesses.
My (daughter/son) is _____ year’s old, weighs _____ pounds, and is ______ inches tall. My daughter/son)’s physical condition is as follows (Insert a description of physical challenges). As a result of (her/his) physical condition, (she/he) needs the support and security provided by an FAA Approved Child Restraint, but because of (her/his) weight is incapable of compliance with the regulation. I am also submitting the following contact information: (name of parent/guardian), (mailing address of parent/guardian including city, state and zip code) and (email address of parent or guardian)
I understand that the regulation is written to create a high level of safety for each individual passenger by ensuring that they are securely restrained in their seats during all phases of flight. The regulation also ensures that an individual does not cause harm to other passengers on the airplane by being thrown into them during turbulent or emergency conditions.
I propose that (name) be allowed to occupy an FAA Approved Child Restraint (CARES, manufactured by AmSafe, Inc.), even though (she/he) exceeds the manufacturer’s weight limits. This ensures a high level of safety for (name) and a high level of safety for the other passengers and crew on the airplane. In fact, in (name)’s case, safety is greatly enhanced by the extra support and security that the FAA Approved Restraint System will provide during the entire flight.
Enhancing safety for (name) is in the public interest. In addition, the public interest is also served by the fact that the use of this FAA Approved Child Restraint System allows (her/him) to use commercial air transportation. Without the support and security of the FAA Approved Child Restraint System, (she/he) would be unable to fly commercially.
I also believe that, with certain limitations established by the FAA in a grant to this petition, there can be an equivalent level of safety to that provided by the affected regulation. The CARES restraint has been certified by the manufacturer for use by children 22- 44 pounds. However, the components of the CARES restraint are the same as those used in restraints for adults on aircraft and would maintain their integrity if used by someone who weighed several hundred pounds.
I believe that the limit of 44 pounds was established because, with the additional weight of the child attached to the seatback, the seatback would move forward more quickly in an accident scenario and this might cause a higher HIC load for the person seated in the seat behind the passenger using the CARES restraint (because the seatback moving forward more quickly would mean that it would not be there to attenuate the energy from the impact of the person seated behind the person using the CARES restraint).
In order to achieve an equivalent level of safety as that provided by the affected regulation, I propose that the FAA establish a limitation in a grant to this petition that (name) only sits in a passenger seat with no passenger seated behind her. Therefore, no unsafe condition would exist for a passenger seated behind (name) while (she/he) is using the CARES restraint. I also propose that all operations under this exemption be conducted with at least one of (name’s) parents or a caregiver accompanying him or her. In addition, I propose that (name’s) parent or caregiver must carry a copy of this exemption.
I also request that the processing of this petition not be delayed for publication and comment in the Federal Register. We want to travel (travel dates). If you take the time to put this in the Federal Register, it will delay the process and we may not be able to travel in this timeframe.
If it is necessary to put a summary in the Federal Register, I submit the following:
This is a request for an exemption from FAR 121.311 (b) to the extent required for a child to use an FAA Approved Child Restraint System on an aircraft, even though the child exceeds the weight limits for the CRS. Due to physical challenges, without the support and security of this FAA Approved Child Restraint System, this child would be unable to fly. We request that this child be allowed to occupy an FAA Approved Child Restraint (CARES, manufactured by AmSafe, Inc.), even though (she/he) exceeds the manufacturer’s weight limits of 44 pounds. In this case, the safety of this child is greatly enhanced by the extra support and security that the FAA Approved Restraint System will provide for (her/him) during the flight.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
-Template End -
Below is the actual FAA Government Document for YOUR information and need not be included in your request to use CARES for your special needs larger child, teenager, or adult.
SEATS, SAFETY, AND SHOULDER HARNESS
(b) Except as provided in this paragraph, each person on board an airplane operated under this part shall occupy an approved seat or berth with a separate safety belt properly secured about him or her during movement on the surface, takeoff, and landing. A safety belt provided for the occupant of a seat may not be used by more than one person who has reached his or her second birthday. Notwithstanding the preceding requirements, a child may:
(1) Be held by an adult who is occupying an approved seat or berth, provided the child has not reached his or her second birthday and the child does not occupy or use any restraining device; or
(2) Notwithstanding any other requirement of this chapter, occupy an approved child restraint system furnished by the certificate holder or one of the persons described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, provided:
(i) The child is accompanied by a parent, guardian, or attendant designated by the child’s parent or guardian to attend to the safety of the child during the flight;
(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(D) of this section, the approved child restraint system bears one or more labels as follows:
(A) Seats manufactured to U.S. standards between January 1, 1981, and February 25, 1985, must bear the label: “This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards.”
(B) Seats manufactured to U.S. standards on or after February 26, 1985, must bear two labels:
(1) “This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards”; and
(2) “THIS RESTRAINT IS CERTIFIED FOR USE IN MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT” in red lettering;
(C) Seats that do not qualify under paragraphs (B)(2)(ii)(A) and (b)(2)(ii)(B) of this section must bear a label or markings showing:
(1) That the seat was approved by a foreign government;
(2) That the seat was manufactured under the standards of the United Nations; or
(3) That the seat or child restraint device furnished by the certificate holder was approved by the FAA through Type Certificate or Supplemental Type Certificate.
(4) That the seat or child restraint device furnished by the certificate holder, or one of the persons described in paragraph (b) (2) (i) of this section, was approved by the FAA in accordance with §21.305(d) or Technical Standard Order C–100b, or a later version.
(D) Except as provided in §121.311(b)(2)(ii)(C)( 3 ) and §121.311(b)(2)(ii)(C)( 4 ), booster-type child restraint systems (as defined in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213 (49 CFR 571.213)), vest- and harness-type child restraint systems, and lap held child restraints are not approved for use in aircraft; and
(iii) The certificate holder complies with the following requirements:
(A) The restraint system must be properly secured to an approved forward-facing seat or berth;
(B) The child must be properly secured in the restraint system and must not exceed the specified weight limit for the restraint system; and
(C) The restraint system must bear the appropriate label(s).