Touch-free Toilets? ANA Debuts World’s First Hands-Free Toilet Doors on Aircraft
Passengers can avoid one more favorite hot spot for lurking germs on long-haul flights
by Bill Becken
Got germs? If you are flying on ANA you won’t be spreading them – or collecting them with the new touchless toilet stall the airline is installing on a number of its aircraft. And while only medical-grade masks can shield passengers from any airborne threats floating in the air, the new bathroom arrangement will make it harder to pick up other microbes that lurk around surfaces that get a special dose of contact from a variety of not so cleanly sources.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) has partnered with JAMCO Corporation to develop the world’s first hands-free airline bathroom door that allows easy access to lavatories on its aircraft. The innovative door was developed as part of the ANA Care Promise initiative, and will help limit potential vectors for the transmission of pathogens. The first hands-free doors will be introduced to domestic flights starting May 1.
The new lavatory door is equipped with a large inner door locking knob and an additional handle so that passengers can use their elbows to unlock the door. Because the door mechanism is different to those found on other aircraft, signage has been placed near the lavatory to provide operational instructions. And while other elements of the lavatory are not necessarily hands-free or contact-less, they can be with a little maneuvering and smart use of supplied amenities.
“Guided by the principles of ANA Care Promise, we have continued to invest in the development and implementation of innovative technologies because the health and safety of passengers and our staff is the top priority,” said Shinichi Inoue, Senior Executive Vice President, Customer Experience Management & Planning. “The hands-free lavatory door is the latest example of us putting this principle into practice as we look for ways to make the travel experience safer and more convenient.”
The hands-free lavatory will be installed on 11 Boeing 787-8 aircraft, two Boeing 787-9 aircraft, and eight Boeing 777-200. The initial installation will be for aircrafts serving domestic routes, while ANA hopes to introduce the system to all domestic and international aircraft in the future.