Cape Town Airport launches facility for passengers with mobility challenges

2020-01-24 10:12
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The Airports Company of South Africa has launched a new pilot project to make it easier for passengers with mobility-needs to transit through the Cape Town International Airport. 

The three-month trial includes a facility that allows these assisted passengers to be dropped off and picked up right in front of the terminal. 

READ: 'More men forget their passports and most families are always late' - common airport mishaps to avoid 

Passengers can find it in the departures' hall opposite the information desk. Its proximity to the drop-and-go area also means that the passenger person with mobility-needs can wait for their travelling companions to go get the car from parking and just pick them up.

The aim is to deduce whether this new facility will reduce the walking distance for assisted passengers, and create a more comfortable waiting area.

Passengers that can utilise these facilities include physically impaired/wheelchair users; bariatric-sized passengers; visually impaired; hearing impaired; pregnant travellers; passengers on oxygen aid; passengers with mental health issues; as well as frail and elderly passengers.

“As this is a pilot project which we are running for the next three months, we are keen to hear about your experience in this facility," Deborah Francis, corporate affairs specialist at Cape Town International Airport.   

"Your feedback will be extremely valuable in helping us make the airport more accessible and easily navigable to all passengers. Researchers will be deployed periodically to the Assisted Passenger Facility to obtain your comments."

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How to make use of the facility

For departures:

  • Step 1: Passengers who require a wheelchair should request this whilst booking with the preferred airline.
  • Step 2: When arriving at the airport, passengers with mobility-needs should use Entrance 2 at the demarcated drop-and-go area. Designated parking bays are provided in front of Entrance 2.
  • Step 3: A maximum of 15 minutes parking time will be permitted at the drop-and-go area only for this purpose — to allow the accompanying person time to take the mobility-needs passenger to the Assisted Passenger Facility and return to the vehicle. 
  • Step 4: Accompanying persons to proceed to park in one of the designated parking areas. Return to the facility and take the mobility-needs passenger to the airline’s check-in counter for the check-in process.
  • Step 5: The airline will further proceed with the assisted passenger’s facilitation to the aircraft.

For arrivals:

  • Step 1: Airline to provide Assisted Passenger services (arrangements should be made when booking with the preferred airline).
  • Step 2: Assisted passengers will be taken by the airline to the Assisted Passenger Facility on the second level to meet up with the person collecting them; or the assisted passenger will be handed over to the person collecting them in the arrivals area without the wheelchair.
  • Step 3: In the event of the passenger being taken to the Assisted Passenger Facility, they can be collected at the facility at the drop-and-go at Entrance 2. 
  • Step 4: The collecting party may park in the designated parking bays provided at the drop-and-go area in front of Entrance 2. 
  • Step 5: They may then proceed to the Assisted Passenger Facility to collect the assisted passenger. A maximum of 15 minutes parking time will be allowed for this.

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