20 Oct 2022

Welcome on board

An award-winning invention hopes to make travelling by plane more accessible for people who use wheelchairs. Currently, air passengers have to move from their own chair into a slimmer version that can fit along aircraft aisles before being lifted into their seat.

But Air4All allows wheelchair users to secure their own chair using a special patented track. The track is installed under a folding seat in the first row so the space can also be used by non-wheelchair users when it’s not needed. It allows people to clip their own chair into the track, which keeps it secure for take-off and landing.

The system is the brainchild of Nigel Smith, director of aircraft certification firm SWS, Paul Priestman, designer and chairman of PriestmanGoode, and Christopher Wood, founder of campaign group Flying Disabled.

It’s recently been awarded the Accessible Design prize in the 2022 Innovation by Design Awards by business magazine Fast Company and has also won a Bright Ideas in Travel 2022 award from Conde Nast Traveller. Air4All is working with airlines to introduce the invention into aircraft and make travel more accessible.

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