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Manchester Airport to host hoist trial for passengers with reduced mobility

  • Written by George Sensalis

Listening to requests from passengers with reduced mobility, Manchester Airport and OCS will be operating a trial of Haycomp’s Eagle 2 Hoist between Thursday 5th November and Saturday 5th December 2015. 


Manual handling is dangerous for passengers and helpers alike.  


“I have MS and I am confined to a wheelchair,”  retired Chief Superintendent of police Anthony Jones wrote in a letter to Lord Cotter. ”I am 70 years of age and a retired Chief Superintendent of police. I am a frequent flyer, and expect to be treated with respect when travelling, but find that the procedure used to handle people with reduced mobility is antiquated and demeaning.” 


Back injuries are the single most common work-based injuries recorded in the UK and around the world, and they are almost always avoidable.


Every party loses with manual handling, including employers. Almost 31 million days of work were lost last year due to back and muscle problems, according to the Office for National Statistics.

One Australian company has been spearheading the introduction of medical grade hoists in aviation. Haycomp Pty Ltd patented the Eagle Hoist trial at Virgin Atlantic AirwaysEagle hoist demonstrationEagle Hoist concept. The specially adapted medical grade hoist is designed to fit planes’ narrow aisles and is available at growing number of airports across the world. “We have sold approximately 80 units over the last 12 months mainly into Canada, USA, Australia, and Dubai,” Haycomp CEO John McGuinness tells Reduced Mobility Rights.


Last year, Haycomp held test trials of the Eagle 2 hoist at Virgin Atlantic Airways headquarters in Crawley. Follow this link to read more about the Eagle Hoist 2 test trial.


Within days, Gatwick airport announced plans to purchase one medical grade hoist for trials. The hoist is now in service at Gatwick.


Reduced Mobility Rights understands live tests returned positive feedback from passengers, helpers, and airlines. 


Lauren Senior with her brotherThe good news from Gatwick quickly made their way north. Lauren Senior is a full-time carer for her brother Jacob who has muscular dystrophy.


Following Laura Moore’s footsteps, Lauren also launched a petition to ask Manchester Airport to purchase medical grade hoists. 


“We continually look to improve the services offered to all our passengers and are currently working with our Special Assistance partner to review the equipment used for transferring disabled passengers onto aircraft,” a spokesperson for Manchester Airport said.


Last September, Haycomp management visited Manchester airport for a demonstration of the Eagle hoist. “Manchester asked for a trial Eagle hoist demonstration at Manchester airportas soon as possible,” John McGuinness said.


The hoist can be pre-booked (subject to availability) between 0400-2200 daily. MAN airport strongly recommends to pre-booked at least 48 hours before travel.


The purchase of medical grade hoists is cost neutral at airports across Europe. The cost of the hoist can be allocated towards existing airports charges (PRM charges) on departing passengers that cover the cost of services for passengers with disabilities. Click here to learn more about the cost of assistance for disabled passengers at European airports.


Passengers travelling from or to Manchester during the trial window may send their request to use the hoist in writing to prmfeedback[at]


Passengers are asked to provide the following information:

-Customer name and contact details

-Date of travel and flight details

-Passenger’s height and approximate weight

-Do you use your own sling?

-Have you used medical grade hoist service before?


Reduced Mobility Rights will report the outcome of these live tests at the end of the trial.


"Good luck with your fight to enhance the travelling experience for PRMs. Once again thank you for your time, support and knowledge."

R. & C. Matthews

Company Info

Reduced Mobility Rights Limited
Registered in England and Wales.
Company No : 07748812
9 Dalton House, 60 Windsor Avenue, London
United Kingdom, SW19 2RR
Phone: +44.(0)7786.993741



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