Airbus, one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, has said it is considering introducing the first ever urinals aboard its planes.
The company is in the process of updating its lavatories due to a fault with closing the door on some of its aircraft, and has floated the idea as part of the overhaul. An Airbus source said men’s stand-up facilities would be a better use of space and reduce queues overall, something which could offer relief onboard its giant A380 super jumbo jets, which are built to carry 800 people at a time.
But the prospect was met with concern by the British Toilet Association (BTA). “One of the biggest problems with urinals is that they smell strongly,” said Raymond Martin, its managing director.
“Unlike toilets, which have a rest bend covered in water to block the smell, the pipes are fully exposed in urinals. For that reason they are not something I would want to use on a plane.”
Airbus has suffered issues with its lavatories in the past, most recently on its state-of-the-art A350 jet. Deliveries were held up by problems with the interiors – including the washroom module – as industry suppliers struggled to manufacture parts that fitted correctly.
Because Airbus’s lavatories are built in factories and then slotted into the aircraft, the compartments do not always fit together perfectly, sometimes creating a problem with passengers closing the toilet door.