Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Debuts Mock Airplane Cabin for Training

A new airplane cabin installation at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport stands ready to help anxious flyers, new passengers, airport employees, and first responders alike.


Split image of aisle of 737 aircraft with blue passenger seats; and outer shell of mock airplane cabin, painted in bright colors with a white boarding rampThe Travel Confidently MSP Education Center, which officially opened in late May, is located near gate C16 in Terminal 1. The 33-foot-long mock aircraft cabin has 42 aircraft seats and a lavatory, all taken from a retired 737 aircraft.

The cabin was previously used to train pilots and flight attendants on emergency evacuation procedures, according to a Delta Air Lines news story. Now it will help a wider range of professionals and passengers, from those who have never flown before, to those who want their service dogs to get accustomed to airports and airplane cabins. A program called Navigating MSP — run in partnership with the Autism Society of Minnesota, Fraser, and the Metropolitan Airports Commission — provides the opportunity for adults and children who are anxious about flying to visit the airport and board the mock aircraft, where they can venture down the aircraft aisle, try out the overhead bins, sit in the airplane seats, and check out the restroom.

The Delta report said the cabin will also be available to first responders such as firefighters and police, who can use the cabin to train for emergencies. The airport’s wheelchair service providers can use the cabin to practice with aisle wheelchairs, while cabin crew can learn how to support customers who use wheelchairs on board the aircraft.

Rick King, the chair of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, said in the Delta announcement, “We are always looking for ways to build travel equity. It’s easy to take air travel for granted, but for many it presents unique challenges and requires different resources. The Travel Confidently MSP Education Center is one more way we can provide resources to the community and lower the barriers to flying for as many people as possible.”

For more information on the Navigating MSP Airport program, which also includes practicing security screening procedures and exploring the terminal, visit the Navigating MSP Airport Web site.

 Images courtesy Navigating MSP Airport program.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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