Glasgow airport opens new £140,000 changing places facility
Glasgow becomes the largest airport in Scotland to introduce a dedicated Changing Places room for passengers with complex needs.
From left: Laura Rutherford, PAMIS, Cara Devaney and daughter Layla, Matthew Watson from OCS and Glasgow Airport Managing Director Mark Johnston.
Glasgow Airport has opened a new £140,000 Changing Places facility to support passengers with profound and multiple learning difficulties.
The room will also benefit passengers with a wide range of physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis who often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use toilet facilities safely and comfortably.
Located in the airport’s main check-in hall to ensure it is accessible to both departing and arriving passengers, the spacious facility’s key features include a height-adjustable sink and hydraulic bed, an electronic hoist, shower and non-slip floor and privacy screens.
With more than 9.9 million passengers travelling through its doors in 2017, Glasgow becomes the largest airport in Scotland to house a Changing Places facility and one of 14 across the UK.
Representatives from the Scottish charity Promoting A More Inclusive Society (PAMIS), which supports people with profound and multiple learning disabilities in Scotland, were invited to the airport to help open the facility. They were joined by Cara Devaney and her five-year-old daughter Layla, who was born with a rare brain disorder and has cerebral palsy.
The airport’s compliance team along and its Person of Restricted Mobility (PRM) provider OCS worked with representatives from PAMIS on the design and requirements of the facility, which was delivered by Pacific Building.
Mark Johnston, Glasgow Airport’s Managing Director, said: “Many people with complex healthcare needs who require this type of facility are restricted from being able to travel because their personal care needs cannot be accommodated in a standard accessible toilet. Thanks to the support of organisations such as PAMIS and Changing Places, we have introduced a first-class facility that will now make it easier for carers and people who have severe disabilities to travel through the airport. In 2016 we supported just under 90,000 passengers who required additional help while travelling through the terminal. The following year the number special assistance passengers increased to more than 109,000. I firmly believe this increase is the direct result not only of the remarkable effort put in by the team each day, but also the significant investment we make each year in our facilities to ensure people who require additional support feel confident to travel and enjoy a safe, pleasant and memorable journey.”
Fiona Souter, Information and Inclusive Communities Director at PAMIS, said: “As the leading Scottish charity for the Changing Places toilet campaign, we are delighted that Glasgow Airport has installed a Changing Places toilet for its visitors. Many people with complex healthcare needs who require this type of facility are restricted from being able to travel because their personal care needs cannot be accommodated in an accessible toilet. Having a changing places toilet at Glasgow Airport will open up the world to them and ensure Scotland continues to meet the ambitions of Transport Scotland’s accessible travel framework – Going Further. This fantastic changing place toilet facility at Glasgow Airport will ensure that the personal care needs of its users are met with dignity and respect.”