OmniServ, the UK’s leading airline and airport assistance services provider, has launched trials of the wheelAIR at Edinburgh Airport, as part of its continued efforts to improve the experience for passengers requiring special assistance at U.K. airports. The launch was supported by Michael Kerr, wheelAIR ambassador and sees the wheelAIR installed on a number of different wheelchair types.
The wheelAIR was designed by Corien Staels in 2015 and became the first product of Scottish company Staels Design LTD in 2016. It has been carefully designed with input of Paralympic athletes and wheelchair manufacturers. Using inbuilt fan technology, it cools the back and reduces the user’s core temperature by taking away excess heat and moisture. This allows for instant comfort and better temperature control. The cushion also offers extra support through a unique blend of carefully selected foams.
For the trial, which officially launched on 5 June 2018, wheelAIR has teamed up with Edinburgh-based mobility retailer FastAid Products, who will be providing an active lightweight wheelchair that will enable customers to easily try the wheelAIR cushions for themselves and give OmniServ the opportunity to gain feedback from passengers.
“We are constantly looking at new innovations and technologies that enhance the end-to-end passenger experience… particularly as we enter the hottest summer months.”
This is a strong statement from Samantha Berry, Head of Innovation and Regulatory Compliance at OmniServ. With a bright spotlight on mobility assistance at airports, following high profile experiences recently, there are questions about what could be done to improve the passenger experience.
Ross Gilpin, Accessibility & PRM Contracts Manager at Edinburgh Airport said:
“The passenger experience is a crucial element of our business and we have invested and focused on our special assistance service provision over the last few years so we provide that positive experience for those passengers who require extra attention and care.
“The trial of wheelAIR is another example of the innovative approach we take as we seek to improve on what the Civil Aviation Authority already regard as a good standard of service. We want to improve further and will look at the feedback we receive from our passengers as it is important that they help to shape our service.”
Speaking on the launch of the trial at Edinburgh Airport, Corien said:
“Our mission is to help improve wheelchair users’ lives by designing stylish products of the highest quality. We are delighted to be working with OmniServ in helping people stay comfortable whilst at the airport. Like OmniServ, we are committed to providing a high quality experience for our customers.”
The news follows a move earlier this year by OmniServ which saw the introduction of another British invention, the ProMove Sling — an easily transportable, lightweight option for lifting and transferring passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) when it is impractical to deploy a powered hoist.