06 Sep Edmonton International Airport aspires to be most accessible in Canada
Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is Canada’s fifth major airport and the primary air hub of Alberta province. It provides scheduled non-stop flights to 55 destinations, including the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and Europe. In 2018 it served over 8 million passengers.
The airport provides an exceptionally high level of customer service and prides itself on working to create a ‘barrier-free environment for travellers and visitors with disabilities’. Edmonton International Airport has received a Certificate of Recognition from the Hard of Hearing Community and the City of Edmonton Mayor’s Award in recognition of its commitment to making the airport one of the most accessible in Canada.
In early 2018 Contacta’s dealer, Hearing Loops Canada, meet with EIA management to discuss the benefits of installing Contacta’s hearing loop technology in key interaction points across the terminals. Following this, our partner’s engineers conducted a detailed site survey and assessment visit, which included an evaluation of the site, templates and model solutions that could be best suited.
Work commenced on ‘Phase 1’ of the project in mid-2018. This saw our IL-K300 ‘Above the Counter’ Loop Systems installed at information desks to improve one to one communication for passengers with hearing aids. Clear signage had been put in place in all the desks fitted with systems so that passengers were made aware of their availability. Our installation partner gained a special access permit from the airport management to complete the installation and commissioning of the systems during airport downtimes.
Hearing Loops Canada are currently in discussions with airport management and are planning ‘Phase 2’, which would see the installation of Contacta’s large area loops to the passenger gates. This would enable hearing aid wearers to hear any announcements at the gates via the hearing loop system.
This phase requires further planning and site assessments where the proposed large area systems would be installed. Due to structural characteristics of the gates, special testing will need to be undertaken to measure the metal content and interference on-site before installation could commence. Based on these findings a second proposal including product solutions and installation options will be presented to the management for consideration.
Duane Melchert, President of Hearing Loops Canada Inc, said: “This is a positive step forward to make the airport more accessible for so many people with hearing loss. We praise the airport management for their positive decision to fit hearing loop systems at the information desks. We hope to take part in their future plans for Phase 2”.