During the last couple of years at MIW, we’ve been working hard to find ways to expand our service offering. We’ve begun working with more partners in the EU, supplying equipment and providing guidance on specialised goods. As the European Master Distributor of Elkay and Halsey Taylor drinking fountains, we’ve experienced increasing demand from diverse countries, as far afield and far apart as Spain and Lithuania. But back in January 2020 we were approached by an entirely new customer from an entirely new location: Malta International Airport.
Despite the fact that Malta is five times smaller than London, with a population of less than half a million, it is home to an incredibly busy airport. It hosts more than 7.3 million passengers annually, across 51,000 flights. So, with tourism being such an important part of the Maltese economy, ensuring the airport offers every expected amenity is very important. And that’s why the Malta International Airport (MIA) management team contacted MIW.
Following a terminal expansion, the MIA team made the decision to enhance the site’s hydration facilities. They were looking for solutions that would allow passengers to both refill bottles and just grab a quick drink on the run. But aesthetics were also important, and the team requested equipment that was aesthetically pleasing and would take up minimal floor space. It was also essential that the equipment should be WRAS approved and easily wheelchair accessible.
All of the bottle fillers and drinking fountains supplied by MIW are WRAS approved, it’s a point of pride for us. So, we were off to a good start. Next, all we had to do was work through our catalogue (did you know that we supply more than 100 units?) to answer their other specifications. We settled on a combination of one of our very newest models and one of our established favourites.
When you’re working with a client who’s more than 2,000 miles away, it’s important to nail the details from the start. So, we worked closely with the MIA project management team, assessing their requirements and providing guidance on unit numbers and equipment details. After much consultation, we recommended the Halsey Taylor OVL-II Bi-Level Fountain and the Halsey Taylor HTHBLR-WF bottle filler. Both units have an in-wall design, minimising their footprint. They are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) approved and comply with the UK Equality Act (2010). They’re both extremely easy to use and maintain. And, importantly, they are hygienic and able to cater for large numbers of users.
Eight units were needed, four of each design. We sent the BIM (Building Information Modelling) files to the MIA architects and planners to ensure compatibility. Then, MIW sourced and customised the units before packing them up and shipping them to Malta.
Although we provide a full supply, servicing and maintenance package for the majority of our customers, MIW does operate as distribution service too. We frequently sell products and send them off for others to install. Which is precisely what we did for MIA, with the addition of remote support. The technicians in Malta were first class, but there are some things that you just need detailed product knowledge of. And that’s what the MIW team have in spades. So, our technicians worked remotely, guiding the onsite technicians throughout the installation process. The result? An airport with eight shiny new hydration stations just waiting to serve.
Despite the distance, the MIA project was more or less like any other for MIW. We delivered the best service we could to achieve the very best results. A lot of people have experienced remote working for the first time just recently. With this project, we’ve joined their ranks, and seen just how successful the concept can be.