Improving accessibility continues to be important to ACI airport members who have a shared goal of providing all customers with a welcoming, empowered, and inclusive experience. All journeys should be accessible, navigable, and usable – to the greatest extent possible – by all people, regardless of their age, ability, or disability.
The Accessibility Use Cases are for airports looking to implement similar initiatives to enhance accessibility and assistance to persons with disabilities in the airport environment. They are not intended to endorse any technology or provider, but rather provide details of key considerations as well as various implementation models that could be adopted.
Each Accessibility Use Case includes a summary, the general steps involved in developing a business case, and a brief explanation of the benefits, challenges, and other considerations.
- Houston Airports – Mobile App
- Incheon Airport – Autonomous People Movers
- Istanbul Airport – Sign Language Initiatives
- Minneapolis Saint Paul Airport – Travel Confidently MSP Education Center
- Perth Airport – Accessible Change Facilities
- Perth Airport – Service Animal Relief Area
- Toronto Pearson – Dog Guide Training Program
- Winnipeg Airport – Establishment of the mYWG Accessibility Committee
Houston Airports – Mobile App
This case study focuses specifically on the development of a free mobile app to assist travellers with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their caregivers, and to offer the ability to have a preview of the entire airport experience before they travel. The Access Houston Airports App is designed to ease anxiety for these families and provide information and resources that will make their visit to the airport an engaging and meaningful experience. The Access Houston Airports App is a game-changer for people with I/DD and their caregivers. It will not only allow greater access to Houston’s airports, but also to the world.
Incheon Airport – Autonomous People Movers
Incheon Airport launched the "Smart Airport" initiative in 2017, abiding by the importance of digital transformation. The two primary objectives of the "Smart Airport" initiative are to enhance passenger experience and increase the airport's operational efficiency. Incheon Airport is putting a great deal into meeting the high standards of customers' needs, with a focus on carefully meeting the needs of passengers with reduced mobility. As a result, they developed Air Ride (self-driving indoor shuttle) and Air Porter (cart robot), and their operation began in October 2020.
Istanbul Airport – Sign Language Initiatives
Istanbul Airport considers accessibility as one of their cornerstones. From this point of view, they have created different solutions for various disability groups under their umbrella brand "iGA Cares” to make sure their guests with disabilities can enjoy the airport experience independently rather than being supported by someone else. Istanbul Airport aims to create accessible solutions for their guests with hearing difficulties and to be ambassadors for cultural transformation. A variety of initiatives and solutions taking into account sign language are available to passengers throughout their journey at the airport.
Minneapolis Saint Paul Airport – Travel Confidently MSP Education Center
The Metropolitan Airports Commission's (MAC) vision is to be the most accessible airport in the world. For more than 10 years, the MAC offered a program called the Navigating MSP, to help familiarize people and families who may find it difficult to navigate the airport and air travel, with the travel experience. Recently, the Travel Confidently MSP Education Center opened with its mock training cabin to upgrade the practice experience for all travellers, including those with disabilities. The mock cabin includes a non-working restroom, a flight deck door, window cut-outs, overhead storage areas along with 42 aircraft seats. The center is also used by airport wheelchair service companies, local service animal organizations, and airport public safety personnel for training.
Perth Airport – Accessible Change Facilities
While ambulant and rest rooms for persons with disabilities are now found at most airports, very few have facilities for users with high-support needs and their carers who are unable to use standard accessible restrooms. They require additional space and specialized equipment such as changing tables and hoists to allow them to use toilets safely and comfortably. The provision of Accessible Change Facilities at Perth Airport Central and Airport West precincts seeks to provide people with disabilities equal access to the passenger terminal buildings and other facilities.
Perth Airport – Service Animal Relief Area
The construction of Service Animal Relief Areas (SARAs) at Perth Airport Central and Airport West precincts seeks to provide people with disabilities equal access to the passenger terminal buildings and other facilities. It followed feedback from a visually impaired passenger who experienced difficulties with toileting his assistance animal when travelling. The project scope involved the installation of two dedicated SARAs, both opened in July 2021.
Toronto Pearson – Dog Guide Training Program
Accessibility at Toronto Pearson is about creating an experience of air travel that enables everyone to participate fully in the exhilaration of exploration, as well as the enjoyment of reuniting with friends and family. Toronto Pearson and the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides are proud to partner with WestJet to provide a training facility for new Dog Guides. The goal of the partnership is to improve independent travel and customer service for travellers of all abilities.
Winnipeg Airport – Establishment of the mYWG Accessibility Committee
In 2019, Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) established a vision to become Canada’s most barrier-free airport. As part of its renewed commitment to accessibility, WAA established the mYWG Accessibility Committee to help realize its vision of providing equal access and participation in travel regardless of perceived differences. Among others, the Committee is based on the guiding principle that continuous oversight leads to continuous improvement. Providing exceptional passenger experience and services for people with disabilities requires constant dialogue with the community. WAA represents the diversity of the community in which the airport is located and remains committed to ensuring a barrier-free experience.
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