Airports are known for their busy nature, with thousands of people passing through their doors every day, connecting people from all over the world. While a focus on providing core services such as cleaning and security is important, there are many passengers that intend to travel through the long terminal corridors who require additional support.
We sat down with Michèle Hill, Bidvest Noonan’s Contract Manager at Shannon Airport, to gain a deeper understanding of the People with Restricted Mobility (PRM) Service, some of the fundamentals that need to be in place, and what the aims of our PRM teams are here at Bidvest Noonan.
What exactly is a PRM Service, and what is involved when delivering it?
A ‘People with Restricted Mobility’ (PRM) Service is designed to assist individuals who have mobility challenges such as walking, standing, or climbing stairs. The service also assists those who use mobility aids such as wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches. Support also extends beyond physical impairments and also includes accommodating those with visual and auditory impairments.
Providing a PRM service involves assisting those who need additional support at every stage along the passenger journey through the airport. This includes helping departing passengers from check-in, through security, to boarding the plane. It also includes assisting arriving passengers from the aircraft through immigration and baggage reclaim, and out to the arrivals hall.
All of this is designed to help passengers navigate the airport with ease and ensure that they have a safe and comfortable journey.
What fundamentals must be in place to deliver a PRM Service?
Knowing the terminal inside out in order to navigate it effectively, being aware of where all equipment and mobility aids are at all times, and having the appropriate training to assist passengers of all restricted mobility levels are some of the key basic elements I believe are required to deliver an effective PRM Service.
However, delivering an effective People with Restricted Mobility (PRM) service is not just about checking off a list of necessities, it’s much more than that. A holistic approach should be taken.
Recognising that navigating through an airport with physical limitations can be a source of stress and discomfort for individuals, and taking steps to alleviate those challenges is important. That is why our teams go that extra step to make each passenger feel warmly welcomed, by making an effort to personally greet them and learn their name.
This personable touch can often help ease any anxiety passengers might have and make the experience more relaxed for them. This can be really important if they are travelling alone.
What do our PRM teams at Bidvest Noonan aim to do?
Our PRM teams have one core focus, and that is to ensure passengers who have restricted mobility or other impairments have a seamless experience on their journey and get to where they need to be, all while enjoying their time at the airport. Providing them with the reassurance they need that all their needs are being cared for, is what makes the difference. No matter what disability or mobility issue the passenger may have, we make it our mission to remain adaptive, flexible, and accommodating to passengers throughout the airport.