The Airports Authority of India (AAI) under the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation has been endeavouring to accomplish the objective of making airports a barrier-free facilities. As a result today, one can see ramps, railings, water facilities, and other public utilities being brought about at airports’ premises with a special focus on the convenience of specially-abled people. At Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, right from the entry point, passengers with mobility issues are rendered special attention by the airport staff.
Their movement is not just facilitated by the recently developed infrastructure but they are accompanied all along by one or the other department to provide them with a premier-level airport experience at par with others. C Pattabhi, Airport Director at Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, said, “We have installed various special things for impaired persons. Starting from the main entrance, we have provided a ramp so that they can have easy access inside the terminal building.
Apart from that, we have tactile strips for easy movement. “People with mobility issues can communicate with the airport staff from the parking space itself at Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur. A help desk has been installed in the space which allows people to contact the department with their needs.
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Travellers having disabilities will receive special attention from the airport staff at the ramp developed outside the terminal building so that they can have easy access to the building. Nandita Bhatt, Airport Director at Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur, said they have taken initiative towards an accessible India program where passengers with reduced mobility such as fractures, pregnant women, or old-aged people will receive a fresh facility at the airport.
She said, “If you come towards our terminal, we have developed special parking for disabled people where we have put signage for that. We have installed a telephone outside the terminal from where one can call the help desk to access the wheelchair and other facilities needed. In this case, our team will assist the person with the same.
With the help of CISF, we help them with security access so that they can reach their plane comfortably. “Retiring room facilities are also made available for the PRM Passengers if they have connecting flights the next day. Booking services are made available inside the airport for the services of retiring rooms.
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A lift facility for PRM people has also been installed inside the terminal building. Passengers have expressed their contentment at the facilities that they say have played a key role in their enhanced flying experience. A passenger said, “As soon as I got out of the car, a wheelchair was available so I didn’t face any difficulty in reaching the terminal. “The Airport at the tourists’ hub Goa too has been equipped with similar facilities.
The authorities say they are committed to further improving the standards and making travellers’ experiences even more memorable. Meanwhile, the AAI is drawing up its plan to replicate such facilities at airports across the country which they believe they will be able to achieve soon.
(With inputs from ANI)