Chopin Airport handled over 47,00 disabled travellers in 2013, making it one of top disabled friendly airports in Europe.
Each disabled passenger has the right to request free assistance of a specially trained airport employee, provided from the moment they arrive at the airport until they are comfortably seated on a plane, or in the reverse direction in the case of arriving passengers.
MichaÅ‚ Hofman, the head of Passenger Handling Service at Chopin Airport, said: “Last year we had 47,394 passengers requiring airport assistance, 12% more than in 2012. Disabled passengers accounted for less than 0.5% of all travellers handled at Chopin Airport.”
The facilities available to PRM passengers (PRM – person with reduced mobility) include two ambulifts (vehicles used for helping wheelchair users to and from aircraft parked at remote stands), as well as 35 standard and 4 electric wheelchairs. All equipment is state-of-the-art and the staff dedicated to assisting this group of passengers are carefully selected and trained.
“Our employees are very well prepared to provide this kind of assistance, offering a fast and efficient service to all passengers. They undergo a thorough first aid training too, as there have been a number of situations in the past where we have had to give first aid to unconscious passengers,” said Maciej GÅ‚ówka, manager of PRM Section at Welcome Airport Services, the company commissioned by Chopin Airport to provide the service.
All levels of Terminal A are linked by lifts accessible to passengers with reduced mobility. There is also a stair climber, helping wheelchair users up and down the stairs.
Each of the three check-in areas have lower accessible desks allowing disabled passengers to comfortably talk to check-in personnel. Disabled information desks, some passport control, custom clearance and lost and found office desks, as well as all public telephones, feature induction loops, which amplify the audio signal for the benefit of the hearing impaired.
In order to make the airport a more visually-impaired friendly environment, the visual identification system has been unified. All wall signs and information posts have been replaced with newer generation devices illuminated from the inside, with bigger and more visible pictograms.
Also, the airport has added new content to its website, in the “Assistance for passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility” section, i.e. “Code of Good Practice for Provision of Ground Handling Services to Disabled Persons and Persons with Reduced Mobility at Warsaw Chopin Airport”.
MichaÅ‚ Hofman said: “The Code provides answers to most questions about PRM services. We have also prepared a leaflet explaining how assistance can be arranged at Chopin Airport, which we will distribute together with the Integracja organisation so that it reaches as many people as possible.”