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QEF Tryb4uFly recently worked with Heathrow Airport on a Special Assistance Open Day.
This open day included presentations about flying with a disability and tours of the terminals to allow visitors to experience the airport environment, and the proccesses to go through when travelling, and the assistance provided.
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In order to be allowed on aircraft the MERU TravelChair required certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). TravelChair underwent some rigorous tests to ensure that its performance would not compromise passenger or aircraft safety in any way.
Happily we can announce that the EASA have now approved and certified the TravelChair so that it can be sold to airlines for their use.
A number of airlines; British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Monarch, have already expressed their interest.
Sir Richard Stilgoe and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen joined representatives from the travel industry, disability groups and major airlines at the Gatwick headquarters of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to witness the launch of TravelChair, an innovative chair for disabled children for use in passenger aircraft.
The TravelChair has been designed by the children’s disability charity MERU to replace a cumbersome older version. Virgin Atlantic has already placed orders and MERU are currently in negotiations with several other major airlines.
The TravelChair’s postural support to physically disabled children was amply demonstrated by Azaria and Leo who, with their mums Carolyn and Tracey, thoroughly enjoyed the celebrity attention. Thousands of disabled children are potentially being denied the opportunity to travel by air because not all airlines currently offer suitable postural support systems on board. The chairs are portable, fit into standard airline seats and can be stored in the overhead lockers.
Parents simply advise the airline of their need to use the TravelChair at point of booking and the airline ensure it is on board for both outbound and inbound flights – at no extra charge. Virgin Atlantic has been quick to purchase the new, improved version, available from summer 2012.