Hands-free devices have taken over the Grande Prairie Airport bathrooms.
In an effort to keep everything as touch-free and as sanitary as possible, the local airport became the first airport in the country to install electronic sanitary toilet seats.
“They’re special because they’re the latest in, I guess if you will, technology and electronics, and… personal hygiene” said Doug Marks director of Terminal Services at the airport.
“They’re the latest out on the market and we had the chance to be the first airport in Canada to do it so we took that opportunity.”
Marks had first seen the toilet seats while away at a conference. From there, he contacted the company, designed by BRiLL Hygienic Product, Inc., and worked with them in order to get the seats installed at the airport.
The electronic seats are designed so that a new plastic toilet seat cover shoots out and covers the toilet seat each time a new bathroom user waves their hand in front of the motion sensor. The previously used one rotates out, and is cut off.
“It’s a plastic liner that is loaded at the backside of the seat,” Marks further explained. “Each individual time a person goes in there, there’s a motion sensor, you wave your hand in front of the sensor and a liner comes out. That way it’s fresh and you the individual know personal hygiene is at it’s best.”
Marks said the airport sees close to 500,000 people, not including greeters, a year coming through the terminal. With that kind of traffic, Marks said hygiene moves higher and higher on the priority list.
“There’s a huge number of people here so we take personal hygiene very serious,” he said. “We started a campaign a few years ago to become one of the highest level of customer service (facilities) in sanitary and hands-free operations and we’re just about there now with these.”
The only other location in Canada to have the same toilet seats, Marks said, is a casino in Calgary. Each seat costs approximately $125.
Because of the airport’s commitment to bringing in technology to make the bathrooms completely hands-free, they have managed to reduce their paper use by 53%.
In addition to the new toilet seats, Marks mentioned that the airport is also looking at changing the hand dryers in the washrooms to a different wall-mounted hand dryer with a stainless-steel tray that will catch the water dripping from people’s hands who are using it, a more sanitary feature.