Congratulations to Sydney Airport (@Sidney Airport Authority) on being the first Australian airport to offer navigation service for the visually impaired!
This navigation service results from a partnership between the airport and the technology firm Aira. It is materialized in an interactive mobile app that works very alike one GPS system. Instead of guiding us in cities, it will guide passengers inside airport terminals.
Partnership with Aira for PRM App
As stated, “Aira is on a mission to provide instant access to visual information for anyone, anytime, anywhere”. The tech company has been developing a mobile app that can be installed on any smartphone and that can also be used with a pair of Horizon Smart Glasses. The app’s main goal is to connect blind and low-vision people to remotely located agents that are highly trained and duly qualified to provide instant access to visual information.
Aira’s mobile app was created with the intention of being useful to blind and low-vision people all around the globe, no matter where the app user is located. The application has its pricing system but, presently, the partnership with Sydney airport results on a free access. It was also a purposed adaptation to the airport environment.
Hence, this new navigation service that was tested on Sydney Airport Terminal 2 allows the visually impaired to be more independent and can be one way of improving the passenger experience for PRM (Passengers with Reduced Mobility). Instead of having to wait for the assistance service, this mobile app allows PRM to initiate his journey throughout all airport subsystems (boarding pass control, security, boarder, among others) as soon as they arrive at the airport.
Besides that, if the passenger still needs some personal assistance, the app can connect its users to an Aira agent who can personalize information, track their progress and adjust guidance to each case. This service is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
PRM status in Portugal’s Airports
In Portuguese airports, MyWay assistance service allocates one staff to each passenger that asks for assistance. This staff member guides and helps the passenger reach its destination inside the airport. When asked, they will also assist the passenger during boarding.
At VTM Global, in cooperation with our clients, we deepened our knowledge on PRM needs and developed studies to assess the level of satisfaction and to determine what could be improved in the assistance provided.
We are taking a closer look at these new smart solutions and believe that these innovations are the future!