One UK Midland’s company has come up with a perfect way to help people using wheelchairs or people with reduced mobility when it comes to boarding aircraft.
More importantly allowing passengers to preserve their dignity and improve handling from a health and safety point of view.
Along with a huge reduction in potential trip hazards from young children for instance boarding aircraft via normal stairs.
The company based in Telford called Aviramp have developed a range of aircraft passenger boarding ramps and mobile jet bridges that allow excellent wheelchair access using a huge knowledge base acquired by a team of engineers, pilots, ground handling specialists, airline operation specialists and of course wheelchair and PRM service providers themselves.
Back in 2009 the company received a request by PRM service providers at Gardermoen Airport in Oslo to manufacture a ramp to allowing easy aircraft access for disabled people to and from planes at remote stands.
Displayed initially at an exhibition at Brussels Inter-Airport in 2010, where it received substantial amount of interest from delegates. After this positive feedback the company decided to test the market further and approached airlines and ground handlers directly to see where the development could lead.
UK budget airline Easyjet heard of their quest and offered their expert advice to help bring the Aviramp to the notice of the aviation world, even allowing them to trial their prototype on their aircraft. Development of the ramp system was based around how ground staff would have to use the equipment, taking into consideration the push/pull load requirements for employees. That is a condition set by the UK Health and Safety Executive.
The launch of the first prototype was in January 2011 at RAF Cosford, Shropshire and was attended by representatives from some of the biggest airlines and handlers worldwide. The ramp proved to be a big hit and became the talk of the industry, as the trials also showed that passenger flow times were greatly improved.
Aviramp is now being sold worldwide, Dallas Fort Worth had two on trial then purchased 8 more, ramps are being trialed at Doha in Qatar also in Kuwait, they are also in use in Norwich, Glasgow and Newquay in the UK with more UK and international orders coming in all the time.
I am not an engineer but to me this looks like wheelchair and PRM passengers have at last the chance to maintain their self-respect in what can be a very awkward social situation!