Under EU law 1107/2006, the Airport Manager is responsible for assisting Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM), to ensure that all people, without discrimination, have full accessibility to air transport.
The EU ruling defines the PRM as: “any person whose mobility is reduced, in the use of transport, due to any physical (sensory or locomotive, permanent or temporary) disability, mental disability or handicap, or for reasons of age, or for any other cause of disability, and whose condition requires adequate attention and adjustment of the service provided to all passengers to meet the specific needs of that person.” PRM assistance is provided exclusively free of charge. SAC spa is responsible for managing and organizing the PRM services taking advantage of the cooperation of SAC Service srl.
PRM assistance is provided exclusively free of charge. SAC spa is responsible for managing and organizing the PRM services taking advantage of the cooperation of SAC Service srl.
In order to safeguard the best possible service performance and according to criteria of reciprocation and transparency towards the PRM passenger, S.A.C. S.p.a. has promoted a series of initiatives aimed at improving the travel experience:
- a specific area within its Internet portal;
- a PRM assistance service respecting safety and time, in order to ensure a pleasant stay in the airport;
- a dedicated access gate to the security checkpoints;
- two waiting-rooms (Sala Amica) located in the Departures hall and in the Boarding area, respectively. In both rooms there is a comfortable and welcoming environment, where Passengers with reduced mobility are offered a timely and expert service;
- reserved parking spaces in SAC car parks.
BEFORE DEPARTURE: requesting PRM service
When booking PRM assistance, a request must be made on the Airline website (click special assistance), or to the TravelAgency that issued the ticket at least 48 hours before the departure time or by requesting assistance during check-in operations. In the latter case, PRMs who have already booked will be given priority when boarding.
IN THE AIRPORT
Once at the airport, the PRMs have to notify the airport staff of their arrival using the appropriate “contact points”.
Below are the contact points at Catania Airport:
- Intercom columns located outside the terminal building, in front of door 2 on the Arrivals Floor, and in front of Terminal C.
- Check-in desks in Departures;
- Sala Amica on the Departures Floor;
- The temporary-stay parking bays for PRMs are located right in front of the intercom columns so that passengers can get out of the vehicle easily.
There is also an adequate number of free reserved parking spaces for disabled drivers’ cars at the airport at SAC car parks (P1, P2, P3, P5, and P6). Cars will have to display the appropriate disabled driver badge clearly.
It is also possible to book the shuttle service that allows disabled passengers to be accompanied from the car parks into the terminal building, by sending an email to:email@example.com or filling out the following form at least 48 hours in advance.
In order to make the PRM passenger travel experience both positive and comfortable, in addition to the usual measures available, including the possibility of free parking in the bays near the Terminal, taking advantage of lift-equipped shuttle buses, and requesting assistance through intercom totems, other urgent and crucial measures have been taken, after the spread of COVID-19, aimed at protecting the safety and health of people who are often already in a state of extreme fragility. The initiatives that the Airport Manager has undertaken, during the course of 2020, with reference to PRMs are as follows:
- Installation in the Amica Room and Terminal of Hand Sanitizing Gel for passengers and operators;
- Training/information of assistance personnel in order to adopt responsible behaviour aimed at containing the spread of the virus and promoting correct conduct during the performance of their job tasks;
- Increase in the frequency of cleaning and periodic sanitization of PRM communal areas (seats, toilets, Sala Amica, elevators, tray tables, etc.);
- For PRM staff, through the implementation of the COVID Company Protocol, the obligation to wear an FFP2 mask, gloves and plastic protective visor has been ordered for the accompaniment of all incoming passengers from Schengen and Non-Schengen countries. For flights departing to Schengen and Non-Schengen countries, the plastic protective visor should only be used as required and on the basis of the operator’s assessment of the management of the passenger in order to ensure the health and safety of both operator and passenger;
- PRM personnel who have to measure the temperature of departing and incoming passengers must wear a protective visor together with a mask according to an assessment carried out by the employee on the basis of contingencies such as, the presence of passengers who may approach at a non-safe distance, particularly high numbers of passengers requiring greater and lasting interaction (requests for information or complaints);
- In addition, among the measures adopted during 2020 is the modernisation of the Sala Amica, moved from the Gates area to the upper level and connected by new, more spacious, and functional elevators appropriate to the needs of PRMs with differing degrees of disability;
- The implementation of a wheelchair park with the purchase, completed during 2020, of 80 new chairs;
- In addition, the chairs are sanitized nightly every day with specific products certified by the Contracting Company (through an addition to the selection bid) following the spread of Covid-19 and the need to introduce extraordinary and urgent measures to protect the most fragile category of passenger;
- Wheelchairs are also passed, after each use, through a specific machine that deals with disinfecting, decontaminating, and sanitising them with UV-C rays, killing 99% of viruses and super bacteria in a single cycle, so more effective than traditional manual cleaning. The machine was purchased in 2020 following the spread of the pandemic and represents a tangible sign of the Airport Manager’s commitment to PRM-related activities and processes;
- The implementation of the special vehicle fleet was completed in 2020 with the purchase of two, state of the art, electric ambulifts, the Thunderlift 6000 model. They have the added advantage of being eco-friendly (being electric) with low management costs, and are large, comfortable, and spacious. They have a carrying capacity of 12 passengers at a time that makes maintaining social distancing much easier during the disembarkation and boarding operations of passengers.
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