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NEWS Last modified on November 27, 2013

Sochi gears up for Winter Paralympics

Airport operator, Basel Aero, says Sochi Airport is ready to welcome Paralympians, with 100 days to go until the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games.

The operator, part of the Basic Element group, has introduced permanent accessibility improvements for passengers with reduced mobility in preparation for the event.

The new facilities and additional staff training are part of Basel Aero’s $1 million investment in the airport’s accessibility programme.

Sochi Airport now has two ambulifts to assist passengers getting on to and off different types of aircraft, as well as 29 lightweight aisle chairs.

The airport is also equipped with mnemonic schemes featuring Braille letters, in addition to special check-in desks and separate lines in the preflight control area for passengers with reduced mobility.

Its information desk has induction portable panels for the hearing impaired; the terminal features yellow signs for the visually-impaired; and there is a wheelchair-friendly elevator with Braille letters.

Sochi’s car park has also been redesigned to offer 71 parking spaces for the disabled.

A further six spaces have been provided outside the terminal entrance for dropping off passengers with reduced mobility.

Specially-trained paramedics will assist passengers throughout the airport process.

Furthermore, the airport has increased and upgraded its fleet of buggies to 30 vehicles.

Leonid Sergeev, Basel Aero’s CEO, commented: “We’ve prepared everything to ensure the best and smoothest service for passengers with special needs.

“However, Basel Aero is still searching for new approaches and ways to make the accessibility programme even more effective.”

Paralympic athletes had already used some of the airport’s facilities during 2013 test events in February and March.

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