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PASSENGER SERVICES Last modified on June 21, 2016

Who cares wins

Joe Bates takes a quick look at some of the latest health and wellbeing initiatives taking place at airports across the globe.

Stockholm Arlanda has become the first Nordic gateway to be recognised as a ‘Heart-Safe Zone’ basedon its commitment to the installation of defibrillators and training staff how to use them in case of a medical emergency.

The airport has installed 31 defibrillators in public areas across its terminals and trained its staff in cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 

“Our aim is to be on the scene with a defibrillator within three minutes of being alerted that someone is in cardiac arrest,” says Jörgen Jernström, rescue officer at the Arlanda Rescue Service.

Airport operator, Swedavia, is quick to point out that it has also invested in the potentially life saving equipment at its other nine gateways across Sweden as unfortunately, a number of people are taken ill on their travels each year.

Indeed, the machines were used five times at Stockholm Arlanda in 2015 after passengers suffered a cardiac arrest.

Equipping Arlanda with the life saving equipment has been recognised by the Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) – which represents Sweden in the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) – earning it Heart-Safe Zone accreditation.

According to Swedavia, the standards are quality-assured and were developed in partnership with organisations such as the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation and the Swedish Resuscitation Council.

“Our staff are trained in CPR and can work a defibrillator, so passengers at our airports should feel safe even if there is a medical emergency,” adds Jernström.

“We now have defibrillators located all over Stockholm Arlanda, so wherever passengers are in the airport they can be assured that they will be within 90 seconds of one of our machines.”

Statistics show that of the 10,000 Swedes to suffer from cardiac arrest each year, only 550 survive, yet with the help of early CPR and a defibrillator within three minutes, the chances of survival increases 75%.


Sound of silence

Frankfurt Airport must be trying to tell us something about peace and tranquility as in the first quarter of 2016 it has opened a couple of yoga rooms and unveiled a new ‘silent chair’.

It claims that the introduction of silent chairs have created new relaxation opportunities for passengers wishing for a quiet place to rest up at one of the world’s leading transfer hubs.  

According to airport operator, Fraport, the silent chairs are the “perfect way to relax in peace while waiting for an onward connecting flight”.

It goes on: “These arch-shaped chairs noticeably reduce the ambient noise, enabling passengers to listen to their own music thanks to integrated speakers that can be connected to their smartphones, tablets or other digital devices.” 

Silent chairs are currently available opposite gates A58 and Z58 in Terminal 1 and by gates D4 and E5 in Terminal 2, although more are expected to be added later this year if they prove popular.

Frankfurt Airport’s two professionally equipped and free yoga rooms are located beyond security near gates C14 and C16 in Terminal 1 and near gates D1 to D4 in Terminal 2.

Fraport notes that visitors will find all they require in the rooms, ranging from yoga mats, blocks, cushions and pads to floor-to-ceiling mirrors and a wall-sized Buddha designed to evoke “an appropriate ambiance”.


Sleep time

Finally, Singapore Changi and Incheon retained the top spots in the annual passenger poll conducted by SleepinginAirports for being the most ‘sleep friendly’ airports in the world. Tokyo Haneda, Taipei Taoyuan and Hong Kong completed the top five.

It says: “These chart-topping terminals go above and beyond when it comes to providing a clean and comfortable travel experience, complete with services and facilities you might not even imagine. 

“Spending time here truly is an experience in and of itself given that airports practically bring the host city to you! With indoor jungles, aquariums, IMAX theatres, spas and an endless number of shops and restaurants, travellers repeatedly talk about being sad to hear the boarding call for their flight.”

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