Gulfstream makes wheelchair access easier

 - March 30, 2007, 7:10 AM

Gulfstream Aerospace has developed an airstair hoist system that provides easier access for business jet passengers who require a wheelchair or have difficulty climbing stairs. “When combined with an airline-approved wheelchair, the system enables the passenger to enter the aircraft via a platform that ascends the airstair, stopping at the entrance of the main cabin door. From there, the wheelchair can be rolled into the cabin and the passenger can then transfer from the wheelchair to a cabin chair,” a Gulfstream spokesman said. The unit, which comprises a motorized pulley system, collapsible rails and a platform, is available on the G550, G500, G450, G400 and G300, and as a retrofit on the GV and GIV/GIV-SP. Gulfstream developed the system in conjunction with LifePort of Woodland, Va., an aircraft interior and medevac specialist that also manufactures the rails and platform. The entire system, which takes between 20 and 30 minutes to assemble and disassemble, is stored on the aircraft and can be operated by either a handheld remote control or a switch installed in the cabin. It is powered independently through either aircraft or built-in battery power. To date, Gulfstream said it has installed the system on a GV, two GIV/GIV-SPs and two G300s. Installation downtime is “up to two weeks.” The company did not provide cost figures, saying that “pricing depends on application.”