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The Biden administration announced on Thursday that it was proposing new regulations for how airlines must treat passengers in wheelchairs, an effort aimed at improving air travel for people with disabilities.

Under the proposed rule, damaging or delaying the return of a wheelchair would be an automatic violation of an existing federal law that bars airlines from discriminating against people with disabilities. The Transportation Department said that change would make it easier for the agency to penalize airlines for mishandling wheelchairs.

The proposed regulations would also require more robust training for workers who physically assist disabled passengers or handle their wheelchairs.

“There are millions of Americans with disabilities who do not travel by plane because of inadequate airline practices and inadequate government regulation, but now we are setting out to change that,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. “This new rule would change the way airlines operate to ensure that travelers using wheelchairs can travel safely and with dignity.”

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