Decoding Design

Air Access provides disabled passengers a more convenient flight

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Design studio Priestmangoode were inspired by Paralympians to make a wheelchair for passengers with reduced mobility that can be clipped in to place on to a flight.

Air travel these days, no matter where you are, or where you're going is massively inconvenient. This inconvenience gets multiplied when you must be wheeled on and off planes and throughout airports. While not permanently disabled, I had a leg surgery that bound me to a chair for about seven months, during this time I had to fly multiple times. Beyond being the first person the security guards suspected for trying to conceal illegal items, getting on and off of, and even sitting in, planes was just a pain.

The design studio Priestmangoode have come up with an innovation that could help streamline the process of air travel for those in wheelchairs or who require assistance in airports, though I'm not sure this idea could get security off my back. Dubbed the Air Access system, Priestmangoode were inspired by Paralympians to make a wheelchair for passengers with reduced mobility that can be clipped in to place on to a flight. That means a passenger wouldn't have be maneuvering from wheelchair to seat.

This chair could be a big step to increase ease of travel for people of reduced mobility and help with the efficiency of the getting on and off the plane.

"Air Access is a much-needed concept for the future of airline travel that will provide a pleasant experience for passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility.” explained Paul Priestman, founding director of Priestmandgoode.

With passengers getting older and older, the need for an efficient way to move people with special needs is essential. Air Access also provides a more uniform way to board people, which in turn means decreased confusion for airline staff. Another selling point to the airlines is that when the seat is not needed by someone with reduced mobility then it clips into place and becomes a regular seat. That means that every plane would be traveling with equipment to aid travelers with special needs.

Reducing stress, wasted time, and cost is something that all travelers would appreciate. And thanks to this design it is something that could be a reality in our near future.

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Images: Priestmangoode

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Beth Carter

Contributing Editor

Beth Carter is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has worked for Catalyst magazine, the New York Times Syndicate, BBC Travel and Wired. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure