For decades, there has been a ban placed on pets being brought into plane cabins. Along with sister island New Zealand, Australia is one of the most isolated territories on earth with a unique set of rules regarding air trips. One of the most controversial issues that have remained a topic of local debate in the media is whether dogs and cats and other harmless domestic pets should be allowed on flights to sit with their owners.
The ban could be relaxed this year.
The news making the rounds is that aviation regulators may relax the ban this year, leaving it to airline companies to decide whether to allow passengers to bring pets into the plane or not. If the ban is lifted, Australian pet lovers may be allowed to travel with their beloved pets after all.
Under the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, these rules have been in place for quite some time, but the coming changes will see the discretion of admittance of pets on board passed on to airliners. Under the new rules, these companies will decide. The lifting of the ban is scheduled for 2nd December.
Reports also claim that pilots will be allowed to bring pets into the cabin subject to specific guidelines. In addition, some of the country’s top airline operators, including Qantas, Rex, Jetstar, and Virgin Australia, are expected to make announcements in the coming weeks before the due date of the ban suspension.
Conditions for Pet admittance onboard
The qualification to bring pets onboard will most likely be subject to certain conditions. These conditions will be at the exclusive discretion of the operator. The type of animals and how they will be transported are some of the issues operators will have to deal with. Will the pet be restrained with a leash or kept in a box? What will be its reaction to the new environment? Will pets be a distraction to crew members, and how will they deal with excrement? These are some of the issues causing controversy.
Smaller animals only need minimal space and a small restraint to be kept in place, but larger pets will require more space. Moreover, their weight is another thing to consider. If large pets are allowed on board, operators will have to decide how many of them they will allow per flight.
Based on the current rules, Australians can transport their pets, but they can only do so via the cargo compartments in planes. And this is a costly enterprise. Moreover, flight turbulence can place a physical strain on pets and make them restless and irritated. While pets are allowed on flights in other countries, the rules in Australia are different. Australians who don’t have pets or don’t intend to travel with their pets do not mind the ban remaining in place, but those who do will see the ban suspension as a welcome development.