In general, domestic aircraft are smaller as these aircraft are manufactured for regional connectivity that serves best in mountainous regions and tough terrains. Due to such reasons, Buddha Air and many other airlines of Nepal own ATR or similar aircraft, the air stairs used in domestic aircraft are inbuilt in the aircraft and are smaller compared to one we generally see in big international wings that uses ground support equipment for embarkation/disembarkation.
We have recently introduced the passenger boarding ramp for our aircraft with the sole purpose of passenger safety and ease for on and off-boarding. However, not only do passengers with special needs benefit from this, but every passenger could also benefit from this innovation.
For passengers having health complications and those who require wheelchairs or stretcher cases for sick passengers, the boarding ramp would be the most convenient, effective means for embarkation /disembarkation from the aircraft. The introduction of the passenger boarding ramp has earned positive feedback from our passengers, and now this is available in most of the domestic airports of Nepal (except Surkhet, Tumlingtar & Kathmandu).
In the case of Kathmandu, due to limited space and a busy schedule with more than 100 daily flights, it is not feasible yet for such a boarding ramp, however, we will be soon introducing them to all of our destinations.
More importantly, we have seen what it means to someone to be able to walk on or off their flight and we have also seen the reduction in injuries and accidents from tripping and falls. Most of all, we have seen that these ramps can lead to safer operations and happier customers. In the end, isn’t that what we are all trying to achieve?