May 21 2024  |  Seating

Collins Aerospace unveils solution for passengers with reduced mobility

By Robynne Trueman

The Collins Aerospace wheelchair seating solution provides a more comfortable and dignified flying experience without impacting existing aircraft cabin densities.

Collins Aerospace has announced it will unveil its cabin solution for onboard wheelchair accommodation next week at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg. The Collins product is compatible with most WC19 and ISO 7176-19 transport-certified powered wheelchair devices, “allowing passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) an inflight experience more equivalent to that of able-bodied passengers,” the press release said.

Implementing the solution requires the installation of a restraint system at the front of a narrow-body aircraft to accommodate a wheelchair user. Restraining the wheelchair in place can easily be carried out by cabin crew without assistance from maintenance staff.

“Enabling motorized wheelchair users to remain in their chair is imperative to providing a more equitable and dignified air travel experience to the millions of people who rely on personal mobility devices in their everyday lives,” said Cynthia Muklevicz, vice president of customer and business development for Collins Aerospace. “Innovating solutions that enhance the inflight and cabin experience is fundamental to the mission of Collins. We’re confident this certifiable solution will help eliminate barriers, opening greater possibilities to a wider population to more conveniently experience the excitement and necessity of air travel.”

The solution is also designed to simplify boarding and deplaning by reducing the risk of personal injury and discomfort associated with transporting individuals in and out of their wheelchairs but also greatly reducing instances of mishandled wheelchairs during the check-in, handling and stowage processes. In recent tests at the National Institute of Aviation Research (NIAR) the boarding process with the Collins solution was akin to the average ground transportation experience.

Installation of the Collins solution involves an integrated restraint system and seat belt attachments securing both wheelchair and passenger. The restraint system is stowed when not in use. The Collins solution does not require seat removal or modification, simply utilizing otherwise unused space on the aircraft.

Demonstrations of Collins’ integrated seating solution will be held during AIX from May 28 to 30.

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