'Freedom of movement is a right preserved under EU treaties and it is also aligned with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, regarding accessibility to air transport for disabled people and the elderly, these basic rights are currently not fully realized, thus creating social exclusion.
ICARUS aims to identify, justify and prioritise research and analysis solutions with the greatest potential of improving universal access to air transport. It also strives to initiate change among the main players in the accessibility chain that fosters adoption of effective solutions.
To achieve this objective, the ICARUS consortium unites organisations with the knowledge, expertise and network of contacts required to produce planned project outcomes, results and impacts. Moreover, ICARUS has a Stakeholders Network composed of key actors in the entire 'value chain” of accessible air travel, providing information, feedback, and outcome dissemination.
ICARUS’ work plan strategy is based on proven ex-ante evaluation methodologies. Firstly, ICARUS researchers identify the nature and scale of the problem, the involved process and activities, and the technologies and existing solutions. Afterwards, they analyze needs and preferences through the users’, stakeholders’ and experts’ perspective; including real-life observations. Then, the gap between the current situation and the needs is assessed and a preliminary list of solution areas identified. Next, researchers define the R&D fields and innovative solutions that require further advancement, and best practices. Finally, a socio-economical analysis is conducted, providing recommendations following the principles of economy, cost-effectiveness, and European Added Value.
ICARUS will contribute to initiate change in aircraft cabins and in activities and services to allow easier access to aircraft for all citizens, by providing insights on R&D areas that may alleviate the air transport access issue.'