Heathrow Airport’s special assistance provider OmniServ has acquired a fleet of seven Bulmor SideBull Ambulifts to help transfer people on and off aircraft.

The Ambulifts are designed as cabin units mounted on trucks, which can be lowered to ground level to allow multiple People with Reduced Mobility (PRM) travellers to enter and then raised to connect with aircraft entrances.

Heathrow customer relations and service director Jonathan Coen said: “Heathrow’s vision is to make every journey better, for every single passenger.

“We hope investments in equipment like these Ambulifts will make a real difference to travel experience and comfort of our passengers when travelling through our airport.”

“We need to do more when it comes to our Special Assistance service and we hope investments in equipment like these Ambulifts will make a real difference to travel experience and comfort of our passengers when travelling through our airport and help us in providing a more accessible, welcoming Heathrow.”

Based on sideloading technology, the ground-to-plane lifting vehicles enable the cabin to be raised and lowered while the vehicle is in motion to enhance efficiency.

Fitted with a number of safety functions such as proximity laser guidance, the vehicles are highly automated.

They feature a side-loading forklift mechanism that makes the cabin stable at height, which allows the cabin function to operate in wind speeds of more than 50k.

SideBull Ambulifts allows operators to lower the entire cabin to ground level so that a large number of passengers can enter and exit with ease without having to use smaller tail lifts.

Additionally, OmniServ crew members assist passengers directly onto and off coaches and buses without using steps.

Four of the vehicles are already in operation at Heathrow, while the remaining three will be deployed over the next three months.