In an effort to further improve traveler accessibility, London Gatwick Airport has invested in the latest passenger lifting equipment from Eagle, as well as two new specialist hoist assisted toilet facilities and two new sensory rooms.
The Eagle Hoist 4 lifting solution ensures a safe transfer process for wheelchair users requiring full assistance to their aircraft seat. As well as the lifting equipment, Gatwick will also install specialist hoist assisted toilet facilities with access to height adjustable adult sized changing benches if required. The new facilities will be installed over the coming year.
Gatwick will also build a sensory room in its North and South terminals to help improve the wellbeing of passengers with sensory processing difficulties such as autism, brain injuries and dementia. The rooms can be transformed from a calming and soothing place, to an exciting and engaging interactive space full of light and sound, depending on the needs of the passengers that use them.
Nikki Barton, head of terminals, Gatwick Airport, said, “We are delighted to be investing in these new facilities as they will improve the welfare of our passengers and make their journey through the airport as pleasant and stress free as possible.
“We’ve purposely announced these new facilities on the first anniversary of the Hidden Disabilities Lanyard as we want to use the opportunity to raise awareness of the issue among other airports, transport providers and public-serving organizations. The experience we have had with the lanyard has been very positive and, along with our partners OCS, we would encourage other organizations to implement similar schemes to help identify passengers who may require additional support.”
Maria Cook, Gatwick’s Autism ambassador, said, “Airports are stressful environments for many people with a disability and these new facilities will greatly improve the airport experience for those needing to use them. They are a necessity, not a luxury.”