Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, is to introduce portable nursing stations this autumn.
The City of Arizona, which owns the airport, has approved the purchase of up to six of the pods, at a cost of no more than US$172,000 for a two-year aggregate contract. Two pods will be placed in Terminal 4 – one pre-security and the other post-security, complementing two existing nursing rooms. The airport will later decide, based on demand and space constraints, whether to purchase an additional four pods.
The pods are made by Vermont firm Mamava, and shipped in boxes, ready to assemble. Features include built-in seating, lighting, a table, a mirror and power outlets. Mothers wishing to use a pod can open it via a free Mamava app, which also enables them to control lighting and airflow in the pod.
Introducing the pods to Sky Harbor was the brainchild of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, who had experienced difficulties when trying to find somewhere to feed her baby son while traveling. Seeing the pods at another airport, she felt that they would be a useful addition at Sky Harbor.
Gallego told local news station ABC15 Arizona, “It’s hard to travel with a baby, so that quiet, relaxing space makes for a better travel experience.”
Terminal 4 is the largest terminal at Sky Harbor Airport, with 86 gates. It hosts more than 80% of the airport’s passenger flow and handles all international flights.