Eric Charlton

Eric Charlton

Former Minister for Transport

    Improved access to country air services for people with mobility disabilities

    9/07/1998 12:00 AM



    People who use wheelchairs will have improved access to country air services in Western Australia as a result of the enterprise of Esperance designer and engineer John Dickerson.


    Transport Minister Eric Charlton today congratulated Mr Dickerson on his design of a hoist to enable people with mobility disabilities to be lifted into aircraft easily and with dignity.


    "Mr Dickerson recently demonstrated his hoist to Skywest Airlines' representatives who were impressed enough to take immediate delivery of the prototype," Mr Charlton said.


    He said the airline indicated to Mr Dickerson that it was likely to place further orders.


    "Transport recently conducted a review of access to country-based air services and as a result, Skywest met with the department's consumer representatives to consider solutions to this important access issue," the Minister said.


    "Skywest took the issue on board and I congratulate the company for its prompt response and action."


    Mr Charlton said Mr Dickerson had designed the hoist independently of any approach by Transport or airlines because he had a friend who used wheelchairs and he saw the need.


    The modified fork lift would enable wheelchair users to feel safe and secure while being lifted to the aircraft's doorway.


    "The hoist went through a comprehensive trial at Esperance using a Skywest plane," Mr Charlton said.


    "All possible requirements for people with mobility disabilities were tested successfully."


    Media contacts: Doug Cunningham (08) 9321 7333


    John Dickerson (08) 9071 2470


    Bob Mason (08) 9478 9999