Accessibility – ways for people with cognitive issues navigate airports or travel
Date: 5 December 2018
With global passenger traffic rising by 6.5% in 2015 and PRM traffic numbers soaring, there is an urgent need to reshape aspects of air travel like airport capacity and flow management to upgrade the passenger experience and make airports enjoyable, profitable, and more competitive. Innovation is key to reshaping the way assistance is designed and delivered. It is no mystery that current operational frameworks are, in areas like one-to-one wheelchair assistance, already stretched beyond capacity. It will soon become unsustainable to meet future traffic growth if access to air travel is not radically reshaped. However, this outlook should not be an obstacle, but rather the incentive to re-invent airports, perhaps implementing technological solutions that allow most passengers to remain independent throughout the journey, whilst those needing greater care can be best looked after by dedicated staff. Finally, innovation is vital to prepare for the future needs of the travelling public. We must foresee a world where cognitive impairments are an integral part of the human landscape and embed this factor in the way airports are designed and staff are trained.