Speaking at the Global Urban & Advanced Air Summit earlier this year, CEO of Aerobility, Mike Miller-Smith discussed the importance of embedding accessibility and mobility into the AAM landscape.
Aerobility is a UK-based charity founded in 1993, and works towards providing anyone, with any disability the access and opportunity of flight and learning about the aviation world. Aerobility represents the needs of those living with disability into aviation and is recognised as the leading expert in disabled flying.
Mike was a keen eye at the GUAAS event and focused on the considerations and applications this ‘new’ way of flying has in its DNA.
Difference in experience
The CEO of Aerobility explained: “My own personal story is I travel with commercial aviation a fair amount and is always a challenge. Being in an electric wheelchair, it’s not easy getting onto an airplane safely and also the safety of the wheelchair being considered.”
“If 50,60,70 years ago the modern airliner was being designed, if the designers had thought about disabled access, how different that experience I have now would be.”
Baking accessibility into the AAM DNA
Miller-Smith said his appearance at the GUAAS event was to fuel discussion on mobility. He said: “I thought, if this new sector of the aviation industry, the advanced air mobility sector starts thinking about disability now, and embeds that knowledge to the designs and the way that service is delivered in the future, it will be baked into the DNA forever.”
“I keep reading the word mobility everywhere, and actually that should include 1/5 of the population of the world, which is people with disability.”
“It is heartening to see the positive thinking in enabling people with reduced mobility and hidden disabilities. A number of manufacturers are thinking about the way they can make their designs more accessible. It is all baby steps but it is all moving in the right direction.”