Depending on where you are in this world, you may see public transportation like trains and buses have arrangements for wheelchair users where seats already installed can be folded and concealed so that a wheelchair user can simply wheel in, occupy that spot, secure their wheelchair to the vehicle floor, and stay seated in something they are already comfortable with. Even though this accommodation is not as commonly available as one might like, it is still an option to many.
One industry that has been stubborn about not providing that accommodation is the airline industry. The rationale provided is around safety – airplane seats meet safety guidelines including survivability in case of a crash and that’s why the seats cannot be removed. However, wheelchair restrains systems are also rigorously tested to withstand adverse conditions and design studio PriestmanGoode’s new design (jointly developed with Flying Disabled and SWS Certification) for airplane seats will hopefully change how wheelchair users travel in the future.
PriestmanGoode recently unveiled “Air 4 All” – a new chair system that aims to democratize air travel for everyone – including people who use power wheelchairs because of reduced mobility. The seat easily folds into the backrest and a person in a powered wheelchair can easily slide in and secure their wheelchair with locks on the floor. This system is designed to work with a variety of airline seats and wheelchairs. Currently, it comes in a 2+2 configuration, allowing front rows in an airplane to accommodate up to two powered wheelchairs in a row.
Air 4 All is the first seat system developed jointly by a design agency, a certification body and with input from the disabled community. It also has support from a leading power wheelchair manufacturer and a subsidiary of a major airline. Air 4 All was recently granted a patent and the first prototype is expected to be released in December 2021. The patent covers all modes of public transport so this system is not limited to just airplanes.
Read more about Air 4 All in the source link below.
What do you think of Air 4 All? Do you think we will see these seats sometime in the future in commercial airplanes?
Source: Yanko Design