September 22, 2020

“Aviramp” – helping disabled people board aircraft with dignity

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A company called Aviramp Ltd was formed to help the aviation branch of Ra’alloy Ramps Ltd to create a range of access ramps, stairways and service platforms from aluminum. Using the words of the company itself, “Aviramp was developed to meet the ever-growing demands of the aviation business and in particular for travelling passengers.”

The company has implemented a continuous number of benefits that far outweigh the traditional air-stairs, ambulifts and stair-lifts. These benefits are not just for the ground services agents, but help the airlines and passengers.

With more wheelchair users and people with restricted mobility wanting the freedom to travel than before, there appeared to be a need for a beneficial means of boarding and disembarking aircraft for all these passengers.

Mr. Graham Corfield of Aviramp said, “The system for passenger boarding that has been implemented in Grand Cayman, still unfortunately leaves disabled passengers with little dignity by having to be picked up and placed on the seat. They are boarded away from their family and other passengers. In other words, they are treated differently.

“That same system was tried in airports in the UK with unfavourable results.

“We have developed Aviramp that allows disabled passengers to board with others and stay in their own wheelchairs, thus preserving their dignity. Many international countries are now using the Aviramp system.

“Places such as Oslo and other European companies came to the conclusion that the Cayman Islands system is too slow and very undignified for the wheelchair passenger, who has to be picked up out of their wheelchair and manhandled top and bottom. Our design completely replaces traditional air stairs on the front of the aircraft and is effectively a mobile Jet Bridge to the main terminal building. It offers passengers the ability to board together and there is no need for persons with reduced mobility to be treated any differently from the rest of us.”

A stair lift system (“Ambistair”) is the only system available by all the airlines using the Owen Roberts Airport for disabled passengers. At the time of going to press no one from any of the airlines we contacted was able to comment on the “Aviramp” system.

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