Over the past 3 years, Prevalis Netherlands has developed a new solution to lift disabled passengers into or out of their aircraft seat. The project´s starting point was aimed at reducing long-term sick leave of airport service staff due to shoulder and lower back injuries. In addition, complaints from disabled passengers about painful and undignified manual lifting transfers are piling up.
The Prevalis PRM Transfer Lift is used at several airports in Northern Europe to lift PRM´s (Persons with Reduced Mobility), needing full assistance, either into or out of their aircraft seat.
“Carry-on” passengers are nowadays still manually lifted into or out of their wheelchairs and aircraft seats, which can be hazardous for both passengers and airport staff.
“The development was quite a puzzle” says technical developer Mark Rinkking.
“The main requirement was making the passenger lift suitable to help passengers in any major aircraft cabin and on any seat. The device also had to be handy enough to be used ad-hoc in common situations that a passenger is not properly registered beforehand with the airport service provider. With the PRM Transfer Lift, traveling by air will be made a lot easier for this growing group of disabled travelers”
Several airports in Europe, especially in the UK, have expressed an interest in the innovation, or are completing a trial period. The major airports in the Middle East, where manually lifting disabled passengers is also a major challenge because of cultural and religious reasons, are also keeping track of these developments.
According to Mark Rinkking from Prevalis, the PRM Transfer Lift will close the final gap in passenger assistance at airports.
“Everyone has the right to travel. With these types of new solutions, we are trying to make traveling by plane easily accessible for everyone.”