Changing places for the Highlands and Islands

Disabled people can travel the Highlands and Islands of Scotland more easily as a result of an open attitude at Inverness Airport.

Owner and operator of the facility, Highlands and Islands Airports (HIAL), has opened a Changing Places assisted accessible toilet. Supplied and installed by Closomat, the facility means that anyone travelling through or by the airport, who cannot use a WC on their own, can use it.

“The installation of our new Changing Places facility demonstrates our commitment to constant improvement and makes our airport as comfortable as possible to all of our passengers,” explained Graeme Bell, Inverness airport general manager. “By strategically locating the Changing Places by the arrivals exit, it means passengers using the Airport can benefit from it, but also, anyone who is travelling through the Highlands can access the toilet facilities.

“Closomat’s team was really helpful in covering all the considerations necessary to execute a successful, compliant installation.”

The Changing Places toilet gives more space and more equipment than conventional wheelchair accessible toilets. The Changing Places at the airport includes all the key standard fixtures such as peninsular WC, adult-sized height adjustable changing bench, ceiling track hoist, with a height-adjustable washbasin, in a room some 12m2. Therefore, anyone who needs help with their intimate hygiene or has continence issues, can relieve themselves, or be changed, in an appropriate environment.

Fiona Harper, spokesperson for Changing Places in Scotland, PAMIS, said, “PAMIS is delighted that Inverness Airport has installed a Changing Places toilet for travellers. This move will reduce one of the barriers that prevent people with disabilities, their families and carers, from travelling and will hopefully encourage other travel hubs to follow suit.”

Under Building Regulations and British Standards, Changing Places should be provided in any facilities to which numbers of the public have access, and/or spend a length of time.

The company can provide an in-house, ‘one- stop-shop’ complete package for ‘away from home’ assisted accessible toilet facilities, from design and commissioning, through to project management, supply and installation, and can also provide subsequent maintenance and repair.

Its website is the ‘go to’ resource available for campaigners, providers and specifiers alike, with a raft of support information including white papers, calling cards, CAD blocks, NBS specifications, video and case studies.