Intelligent design

Intelligent  design

Disabled friendly airport

When it comes to airport design, the Vancouver Airport (also called YVR) is one of the world’s most disabled friendly airports in the world. “I have travelled through many airports around the world and hands-down, YVR has been the most accessible for me, because I was in a wheelchair with all of my equipment,” said Jim Armstrong, a member of the Canadian Paralympic Team.

 “I am very proud that my teammates and competitors will experience this airport as their first impression of the city and the country.” The airport will have golf carts, wheelchair lifts, oversized baggage carts, and specialised wheelchairs that can negotiate the airport aisles.
Though YVR’s disabled friendly aspect is coming to light now in the context of the Paralympic Games, the Airport Authority has been committed to this idea for over two decades. All the construction projects at the airport site have been reviewed to make sure that the highest code requirements for accessibility are met. YVR is the most accessible building in Canada and one of the top 10 in the world. One important feature of this airport’s design is that it has integrated subtle features that are useful for the disabled, but the average passenger does not even detect it! One example of this is that visitors with vision loss can tell where they are in the terminal through “tactile maps,” on the flooring surfaces! Tile and Terrazzo indicate how far one is from an exit.

The needs of hearing impaired passengers have also been met. There will be remarkably clear sound through a low volume sound system. It has speakers placed at about six metres apart throughout the terminals.  This reduces noise pollution and helps those who use hearing aids.

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