Airline Invents Hands-Free Lavatory Doors You Can Open with Your Elbows

The new lavatory door mechanism 1 photo
Photo: ANA
The aviation industry has been hit hard by the global health issue, with airlines still struggling to convince people across the world that boarding an aircraft is still as safe as it gets.
While some turned to eliminating the middle seat completely, others no longer serve any meals, thus requiring passengers to keep their face masks on during the entire time they are on board.

And now All Nippon Airways (ANA) has come up with another innovation that should help the Japanese airline reduce the physical contact inside its aircraft.

More specifically, ANA will replace all the traditional lavatory doors that you can open with your hands with a so-called hands-free alternative that’s supposed to reduce the potential spread of pathogens. Because, after all, the bathroom isn’t necessarily the cleanest place inside an airplane, so ANA just wants to make sure you won’t touch a surface that everybody else touches too.

So the airline has come up with this unusual design that allows users to open the doors using their elbows, all thanks to a large inner door locking known and an extra handle. The door mechanism is completely new, and ANA says it has to install new instructions on the lavatory doors to make sure people figure out how to use them.

The company explains that it has already made the decision to install this new system on a total of 21 aircraft, including 11 Boeing 787-8 aircraft, two Boeing 787-9 aircraft, and eight Boeing 777-200. At first, you should see the new hands-free door locks on domestic routes exclusively, but the airline says it plans to expand it to aircraft operating international flights as well at some point in the future.

According to the company, the new doors will first become available in one of its aircraft on May 1 for domestic flights before expanding to all 21 Boeing models in the coming days and weeks.
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 Download: ANA announces new lavatory door mechanism (PDF)

About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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