Airplane bathrooms are getting smaller. As a result, disabled passengers and those with limited mobility suffer discomfort and indignities when traveling by air. The situation has led the Paralysed Veterans of America to take legal actions against the US Department of Transport, KJZZ says.
An expandable, accessible aircraft lavatory design, developed by ST Engineering and Acumen that was unveiled at the Singapore Air Show this week could address this dispute.The ACCESS expanding lavatory allows more room for disabled and reduced mobility passengers, their wheelchair and even an attendant. The wall space expands to create 40% more room while ensuring privacy, without sacrificing cabin space for seats or galleys. It is designed to suit both Airbus A321 and Boeing 737 family single-aisle planes.
The wall expansion would be carried out by a crew member using a latch on the outside wall of the lavatory. A secondary door can be opened at an angle which gives sufficient clearance (24-inches wide) for an aisle chair to enter. Vertical, horizontal and fold-down grab bars make it easier for disabled passengers to transfer from their chairs to use the lavatory with or without assistance. A lower sink height allows disabled passengers to use the facility while seated. Other features include curved floor-to-ceiling strip lights, large vanity and full length mirrors, as well as a side-shelf for personal items, anti-slip flooring, anti-microbial surface finishes, and touchless faucet and flush mechanisms.