UK airport invests nearly half a million in new tech to improve experience for disabled passengers
Continuing its investment into new innovations to improve the airport experience for disabled passengers, Edinburgh Airport has invested in £425,000 in new call points in and around the airport to provide better contact between Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM) and staff upon arrival.
The upgraded 17 call points which are situated in critical locations, such as the Long Stay Car Park, drop-off area, coach park, and tram stop, feature newly installed video technology and hearing loops, with the points directly connecting to the PRM control room so passengers can speak to staff.
Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport said: “The needs and requirements of all of our passengers are crucial to us and we are always looking to meet those demands and show flexibility in our operations to make the passenger experience as positive as possible.
“We’ve made great strides in improving our all-round PRM and Special Assistance service and these call points are another step forward, upgrading the technology to allow a more personal connection to our control room and provide information that gets that journey to get off to the best possible start.”
According to Edinburgh Airport, the investment in the enhanced call points follows direct feedback from PRM passengers and from the airport’s Special Assistance forum and is the latest improvement to the airport’s PRM and Special Assistance offering.
Last year, the airport trialled and purchased Scottish start-up wheelAIR’s cooling wheelchair cushion to help provide a more comfortable ride for PRM passengers, whilst earlier this year, the airport has started trialling a new app that allows disabled travellers to order food & drinks and have it delivered to them anywhere in the airport from a number of its restaurants.
Discussing the Edinburgh Airport’s PRM services, Scottish Government Equalities Minister, Christina McKelvie, said: “We welcome the wide range of services that the airport has in place for disabled people and those with mobility or other access issues who may require assistance when travelling through the airport.
“Scottish Government recognises that effective solutions to the barriers faced by disabled people must be drawn from their lived experiences, so it’s good to see that Edinburgh Airport is doing just that.
“I strongly encourage other businesses to involve disabled people, and their organisations to consider how they can improve accessibility for all their customers.”
Andy Wright, Edinburgh Airport’s PRM consultant added: “I am delighted with Edinburgh Airport’s latest innovation in support of their disabled passengers, as well as those who require a degree of additional assistance when they fly.
“With the introduction of the newly upgraded call points, the airport continues to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to provide all of its passengers with the necessary supportive technology, so that everybody can enjoy a top level airport experience.”
Despite the increasing steps taken by airports across the UK to improve accessibility and provide a better experience for PRM passengers, with more scrutiny from the Civil Aviation Authority, negotiation airports and planes still can cause a sense of dread amongst disabled passengers. Recently, mobility equipment Drive DeVilbiss released a helpful hints video for those flying with mobility needs travelling ahead of the busy summer holiday period.