b'48 YWGPASSENGER TRANSPORT Winnipeg Intl LaunchesSelf-Driving Wheelchair ServiceFACTS&FIGURESBY KRISTEN RINDFLEISCHProject: Autonomous Wheelchair Program After nearly three years of testing,The work being done today at Winnipeg Location: Winnipeg (MB) Richardson Intl Airport Winnipeg Richardson InternationalRichardson International Airport will help us Provider: WHILL/Scootaround Airport (YWG) in Manitoba formallymeet the future needs of the community, Trials: Dec. 2019Dec. 2022 launched free autonomous wheelchair serviceexplains Nick Hays, president and chief Scope: Self-driving wheelchairs transport travelersto passengers in early December 2022,executive officer of Winnipeg Airports on pre-determined routes from check-in throughmarking a first for North American airports.Authority. security checkpoint to their departure gates;The innovative program may be aGeography played a big part in YWG passengers can pause the ride to stop at restrooms,harbinger for the rest of the industry. Theoffering passengers next-gen wheelchairs. concessions, etc.IATA Global Passenger Survey predicts thatAlthough WHILL is headquartered in Tokyo, Current Fleet: 4 wheelchairs by 2038, one in three travelers will needit has a head office in Winnipeg. When the Passenger Feedback: During final trial, 97%some form of assistance. Motivated by suchcompany wanted to test its new autonomous of users rated overall experience as excellent or verystatistics and observations at the airport,equipment in a large North American airport, good; 99% said they would use the service again Winnipeg Airports Authority partnered withYWG was a natural choice. The partnership Other Airport Trials: Cincinnati/NorthernWHILL (a mobility equipment supplier) andbegan in 2019 and came to commercial Kentucky Intl; Dallas Fort Worth Intl; George BushScootaround (a related rental service) tofruition at the end of last year. Intercontinental; Gerald R. Ford Intl; Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl; San Jose Mineta Intl; Torontoinitiate the process of bringing autonomous Pearson Intl; etc.wheelchair service to YWG. March | April 2023AirportImprovement.com'