Abu Dhabi International Airport, as well as five other airports, have been hailed for their initiative launches for disabled people, otherwise known as people of determination in the UAE.
Abu Dhabi International Airport
In partnership with Etihad, Abu Dhabi’s airline, the airport has introduced personal electric wheelchairs for people with limited mobility.
Thanks to a collaboration between supplier ‘WHILL’ and IT company ‘SITA’, the airport provides visitors with independent travelling without the need for staff assistance.
The chairs are fitted with sensors to identify potential obstacles and features an automatic stop function. In the future, the chairs will be fitted with real-time gate and boarding time updates.
Idaho-based Boise Airport has created a virtual reality experience of the entire airport.
The experience is aimed at preparing passengers with conditions such as autism to prepare for a new and daunting environment such as an airport.
The VR experience can be used at the Boise Library before visiting the airport and it is available within the airport itself.
O’Hare International Airport
United Airlines at the Illinois-located O’Hare International Airport has started to employ more people of determination.
Rolled out in October this year, the staff members are asked to also help other people of determination in the airport navigate around.
United Airlines said the move is hoped to motivate more people of determination to be comfortable with air travel.
Ireland’s Cork Airport in March brought out the ‘sunflower lanyard scheme’.
Targeted at those with invisible conditions such as epilepsy, autism and chronic pain, the lanyard helps staff identify travellers who need extra help.
Sea-Tac International Airport
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington announced a similar scheme with sunflower lanyards in October. It also worked on improving its hearing loop infrastructure and introducing more curb cuts.
Finally, London’s Gatwick Airport in October announced an independent airport comprising experts in accessible travel. The panel is responsible for working on access strategies and services at the airport.
The airport also claimed it is the first in the UK to open a sensory room for autistic travellers. It has also worked on its infrastructure for visually impaired passengers.