четверг, 23 января 2014 г.

Accessible Pulkovo

On December 4, 2013 new centralized passenger Terminal-1 of Pulkovo Airport was open for the passengers including people with limited abilities. Before opening airport employees were specially trained to handle this category of passengers.

New terminal was evaluated from the point of view of a disabled person by Maritta Menkhoff, employee of Fraport AG that is one of the members of Northern Capital Gateway consortium, Pulkovo Airport operator. She told how to treat passengers with limited abilities properly. “First, you should behave as if they were normal people and pay attention first to the person and only after to his problem.”

Compassion Test

Maritta has been working at Frankfurt airport for 20 years. She has already consulted the airports of London, Munich, Berlin and Paris concerning the service of passengers with limited abilities. In Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle airports she didn’t like the fact that there were no electric cars to carry passengers with limited abilities for long distances.

At Pulkovo Airport Maritta draw special attention to the buttons in the elevators. Even the highest ones must be accessible for a person in a wheelchair. Doors and passages should be wide enough for a wheelchair. Toilettes are to have special cubicles equipped with devices necessary for people with locomotor apparatus diseases.

Consultant also checked the registration desks. Along with regular registration desks there are special ones for passengers with limited abilities and for children travelling unattended. These desks are separated from the others and are not higher than 110 centimeters. Furthermore, there are comfortable armchairs next to the registration desks so that passengers could wait for the airport employees to give them boarding cards and check-in their luggage.

Operation Technology

Pulkovo Airport has a special department responsible for service of passengers with limited abilities named Department of additional service of Service of passenger transportation and terminal service. Most of its employees are strong young people because sometimes passengers with limited abilities need not only advice or escort but also physical help.

On November 11-12, 2013 twenty two employees took part in the training on service of passengers with limited abilities at the airport. They were taught how to deal with different categories of passengers with limited abilities in different situations. This training is very useful and important especially because of Paralympics in Sochi in 2014. Many participants are expected to travel there through St. Petersburg.

Positive Changes

New passenger Terminal-1 of St. Petersburg airport is accessible for passengers with limited abilities. For example, in Pulkovo-1 passengers with limited abilities are unable to get to some floors on the elevator so this terminal has been equipped with special lifts. Pulkovo-2 has a toilette for passengers with limited abilities but people on the wheelchairs can not get there because of a step. It also had to be equipped with a lift just because of a one single step. New terminal was built without any lifts as any premise on any floor is accessible for passengers with limited abilities. Total number of special cubicles at Pulkovo Airport toilettes has increased from three to twenty.

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