ST Engineering has set out to debunk the perception of an aircraft lavatory as just another uninspiring, confined functional space—one that has seen little design advancement in recent years—with an expandable aircraft lavatory dubbed Access. Debuting here at the Singapore Airshow, a display of the innovation appears at the ST Engineering pavilion in the exhibit hall.
ST engineers designed Access to aid accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility (PRMs). In its expanded state, the lavatory provides 40 percent more space than a conventional design without compromising the cabin seat count and galley space. The design allows for flight attendants to expand the unit in flight to allow entry and use by PRMs with an onboard wheelchair. When not expanded, the lavatory still offers enough space for normal use by passengers.
Filled with features such as patented lavatory amenity storage, the design allows for retrofit or line fitting in Airbus A321 and Boeing 737 narrowbodies. Neither Boeing nor Airbus participated in the design and development, but ST Engineering will need to work closely with the OEMs if an airline customer wants the lavatory line fitted, a spokesperson told AIN at the show. Although ST hasn’t yet signed a customer for Access, the spokesperson said it has entered discussions with some interested airlines.
ST Engineering has scheduled athletes from the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) to join the company at its showcase to experience the demonstrator unit and to provide user insights to help inform any future adaptations to the final design.