On the technology front, CAG is also working with its partners to explore ways to enhance the experience of passengers with reduced mobility.
Currently, departing or arriving passengers with reduced mobility can either use CAG’s CARE wheelchairs, or request the airline for transport assistance to use the buggy or wheelchair. This often requires either the assistance of a caretaker, or an airport employee. To give passengers greater ease in navigating the airport, CAG worked with SATS, one of the ground handlers at Changi Airport, to develop a smart, contactless wheelchair system.
With this system, staff can control the movement of one wheelchair, while one or two other wheelchairs can follow behind with the aid of sensors. This way, one staff member will be able to guide up to three passengers in wheelchairs at one time.
During the development process, CAG also worked with SATS to ensure passenger safety when the smart wheelchair is in operation. For example, the wheelchair is designed to come to a stop whenever a passenger is in its path.
Trials have been conducted since May 2017, which has helped SATS gather feedback on various aspects of the initiative, from the ergonomics of the wheelchair design, to their acceleration and deceleration speeds. More importantly, the onsite trials have helped to fine-tune the technology used, such that the smart wheelchairs can manoeuvre through the busy airport environment smoothly.
These onsite trials have successfully concluded recently, and there are plans to deploy the wheelchairs for passengers’ use progressively in Terminals 1, 2 and 3 starting this March.
It is through this combined approach of harnessing technologies and offering innovative training programmes that Changi’s Service DNA is able to continue improving, for a positively surprising service experience to all passengers.