Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest, the Hungarian capital, is the first European airport to provide an independent indoor navigation app for blind and partially sighted people. In addition, 1,100 metres of tactile lanes will be installed in the passenger area.
According to Budapest Airport, there are more than 30 million blind and partially sighted people in Europe. However, more than 96 percent of transport systems are still not fully accessible to them.
The initiative “DANOVA – Innovative Transport Services for Blind and Visually Impaired Passengers in the Danube Region”, funded by the European Union’s Interreg Danube Framework Programme for Research and Development, aims to make air, water and land public transport fully and independently accessible to blind and visually impaired passengers, airportal.hu reports.
Through the DANOVA project, the airport operator provides an indoor navigation application to facilitate independent travel. In addition to the software, it has also installed tactile strips along 1100 metres of the transit area of Terminal 2, at a cost of almost EUR 31,000, as its own investment.
Budapest Airport and Budapest Transport Centre (BKK) also involved the National Association of the Hungarian Blind and Visually Impaired and the Central Hungarian Regional Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired in the planning of the project to ensure that the development is truly tailored to the needs.
The app provides voice control in English. The passenger enters the desired destination and the app navigates them to the selected location with 2-4 cm accuracy. Depending on the popularity of the app, Budapest Airport will make it available in Hungarian in the future.