The elbow doorknobs are now ready to fly

Some time ago we talked about the smart Japanese idea of an elbow doorknob to avoid touching possible contaminated surfaces. That invention was primarily designed to open the toilet doors on the planes of All Nippon Airways (ANA).

Now, the airline company has installed the world’s first hands-free toilet doors on its aircraft for the first time and they are also the world’s first hands-free doorknobs of this kind to be installed on a plane.

The Japanese airline has partnered with aircraft interior supplier Jamco Corporation since last year to develop the innovative door, providing trials of the product at the airline’s lounge at Tokyo Haneda airport last September.

The hands-free door has an inner door locking knob and an additional handle so passengers can use their elbows to unlock it. A sign has also been placed near the toilet cabin to provide operational instructions for passengers who are unfamiliar with the door mechanism.

These doors have been introduced on domestic flights since May 1st, but the airline plans are to serve international aircraft as well in the future. More precisely, they will be installed on a total of 21 aircraft: 11 in the B787-8, 2 in the B787-9, and 8 in the B777-200.

The initiative is part of the airline’s ANA Care Promise pledge, a set of cleanliness standards.

An innovative solution that surely should be spread all over the world, not only on planes but even in every public bathroom where automatic doors are not available.


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