In a first for an airline, Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) will install hands-free lavatory doors on 21 aircraft.
ANA To Install Hands-Free Lavatory Doors On 21 Aircraft
ANA has partnered with AMCO Corporation to develop a hands-free door that allows for easy access to lavatories on its aircraft. ANA says its new doors “will help limit potential vectors for the transmission of pathogens.” They will first appear on domestic flights starting on May 1st (as always with ANA, the carrier moves very quickly).
The new lavatory door is equipped with a large inner door locking knob and an additional handle, allowing passengers to use their elbows to unlock the door. Signage has been placed near the lavatory to provide operational instructions on how to use the door
ANA will trial these new doors on domestic routes to start and reconfigure 21 aircraft, including:
- 11 Boeing 787-8
- 2 Boeing 787-9
- 8 Boeing 777-200
If they are well received, ANA will expand the new doors to all flights.
Shinichi Inoue, Senior Executive Vice President of Customer Experience Management & Planning, noted:
“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. 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.”
Some restaurants in the USA (I haven’t seen it elsewhere) now have doors which can be opened via elbow or foot. It’s nice to see the technology come to airplanes. While I’ve long avoided touching bathroom doors in public places on the ground, I’ve never stopped to use a paper towel or glove to open an aircraft lavatory door.
While COVID-19 does not appear to transmit via surfaces, these new doors may aide in preventing against other germs that are easily more easily transmitted via surfaces.
Add this to ANA’s bidets onboard and you have the coolest lavatories in the skies!