Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 20 (p.33)

Feature: Barrier-Free Access to Transport
Information: New Designs for Disabled Air Passengers

ANA Boarding Wheelchair, and Assist Seat

Disabled passengers on All Nippon Airways (ANA) have been able to use wheelchairs in airports for many years and the airline has provided an on-plane folding wheelchair on international flights for easier access to the toilets since 1987. This year, ANA upgraded its services for disabled passengers by introducing the following aids:
A new airport wheelchair designed for more comfort. The wheels can be removed to allow direct access via the passenger boarding bridge and aisles to the plane seat.
A stair boarding wheelchair with removable wheels for boarding and disembarking via steep stairs from the tarmac.
A folding wheelchair on domestic flights.
An Assist Seat with three-point safety harness for disabled children requiring better safety than an ordinary seat belt.

Photo: New airport wheelchairs
Photo: Using the new stair boarding wheelchair (left) to disembark via steep stairs to the tarmac
Photo: Assist Seat for disabled children

JAS Airport Transfer

To offer elderly and physically-disabled passengers more comfortable air travel, since December 1998, Japan Air System (JAS) has provided Tokyo, Chitose, Osaka (Itami), and Fukuoka Airports with its unique Airport Transfer wheelchair, co-designed by Mitsuru Haruyama, President of Handi Network International Ltd., who is himself physically disabled. JAS plans to provide the new wheelchair to all the airports it serves by late 1999.

Airport Transfer Features
World's first axle permitting tread change at touch of button (patent pending)
Functional design with stability and versatility especially in airplane cabin (Conventional wheelchairs require the wheels to be removed and refitted on entering and leaving the plane.)
Ergonomic molded seat
Sophisticated modern design in bright colours
Adjustable and removable armrests

The Airport Transfer is made of special colourful materials and has an ergonomic modern design quite unlike conventional wheelchairs used in hospitals and elsewhere that tend to have an outdated impression.
Every year, nearly 25,000 JAS customers use wheelchairs and, with Japan's rapidly aging population just around the corner, JAS is determined to improve its customer services for this group, so that they and their families can enjoy a pleasant trip.

Photo: The JAS Airport Transfer wheelchair