Airport super-loo is game-changing

PACIFIC Building delivered a new £140,000 Changing Places facility at Glasgow International Airport that will support passengers with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

The room benefits passengers with a wide range of physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis who often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use toilet facilities safely and comfortably.

Located in the airport’s main check-in hall to ensure it is accessible to both departing and arriving passengers, the spacious facility’s key features include a height-adjustable sink and hydraulic bed, an electric hoist, shower and non-slip floor and privacy screens.

With more than 9.9 million passengers travelling through its doors in 2017, Glasgow becomes the largest airport in Scotland to house a Changing Places facility and one of 14 across the UK.

And just nine months after it opened, it was awarded  the highest rating of “very good” from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for disability access.

Pacific’s airport site manager Martin Lamont helped open the facility on Thursday, August 16, with representatives from the Scottish charity Promoting A More Inclusive Society (PAMIS), which supports people with profound and multiple learning disabilities in Scotland.

They were joined by Cara Devaney and her five-year-old daughter Layla, who was born with a rare brain disorder and has cerebral palsy.

Mark Johnston, Glasgow Airport’s Managing Director, said: “Many people with complex healthcare needs who require this type of facility are restricted from being able to travel because their personal care needs cannot be accommodated in a standard accessible toilet.

“We have introduced a first-class facility that will now make it easier for carers and people who have severe disabilities to travel through the airport.

“In 2016 we supported just under 90,000 passengers who required additional help while travelling through the terminal. The following year, the number special assistance passengers increased to more than 109,000.

“I firmly believe this increase is the direct result of the significant investment we make each year in our facilities to ensure people who require additional support feel confident to travel and enjoy a safe, pleasant and memorable journey.”

Laura Rutherford, Changing Places Campaign Co-ordinator at PAMIS, said: “As the leading Scottish charity for the Changing Places toilet campaign, we are delighted that Glasgow Airport has installed a Changing Places toilet for its visitors.

“Many people with complex healthcare needs who require this type of facility are restricted from being able to travel because their personal care needs cannot be accommodated in an accessible toilet.

“Having a changing places toilet at Glasgow Airport will open up the world to them and ensure Scotland continues to meet the ambitions of Transport Scotland’s accessible travel framework – Going Further.

“This fantastic changing place toilet facility at Glasgow Airport will ensure that the personal care needs of its users are met with dignity and respect.”

Brian Gallacher, the Managing Director of Pacific Building, said: “There are a number of pleasing aspects about this project, not least of them being the promotion and facilitation of a more inclusive society in the UK.

“But we are also delighted to have drawn on our extensive experience of working at airports to deliver such an important and high-profile project to our longstanding clients and friends at Glasgow International.

“We hope that those who have profound and multiple disabilities – as well as their families – will enjoy the benefits of using this much-needed facility.

“Yet again, the professionalism of the Pacific team has shone through – and we are proud to be associated with this flagship project at one of Scotland’s iconic locations.”

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