ACI awards accessibility accreditation to Miami International

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Miami International Airport in Florida has been accredited by the Airports Council International (ACI) Accessibility Enhancement Accreditation (AEA) program.

Within the last 10 years, MIA’s MyMIAccess program has launched a range of accessibility services, such as: the MIAair tour program (top), which enables passengers with disabilities to practice the travel experience in a safe and controlled environment; accessibility lanes in its US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) areas; wheelchair charging stations at 10 convenient locations (below); sunflower lanyards free of charge to travelers with hidden disabilities; multi-sensory rooms (bottom) in its North and South terminals, where young passengers with cognitive and developmental disabilities can find a calming place to relax during the travel experience; the Aira Airport Network, a free mobile service that ensures blind or low-vision travelers can receive navigation assistance at MIA; and seven service animal relief areas with indoor and outdoor locations.

MIA earned the three-year accreditation by completing a detailed questionnaire developed with the support of the ACI Accessibility Advisory Group, which includes representatives from member airports, training providers, consultants and accessibility organizations. Independent subject matter experts then performed an online validation interview with MIA representatives to evaluate the questionnaire.

MIA is reportedly the first airport in Florida and the second in the USA to be accredited by the program, which was created by ACI in September 2022 based on existing international best practices and recommendations, including those in the ACI Airports & Persons with Disabilities Handbook. The AEA program also received input from airport members, industry partners and accessibility advocacy groups.

In his congratulatory letter to MIA, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, director general of ACI World, wrote, “Your airport has successfully proven its ability and commitment to ensure an accessible, safe and inclusive airport experience for passengers, airport workers and the visiting public with disabilities, including physical impairments and non-apparent disabilities, as well as the elderly. It is crucial that airports ensure they prioritize their national regulations on all matters related to accessibility, safety and inclusiveness of travelers, airport workers and the visiting public, when applicable, while continuously enhancing access for all and aiming to remove barriers in the airport experience. We feel confident that your efforts will help us in achieving this common goal.”

Ralph Cutié, director and CEO, MIA, said, “We have worked tirelessly to meet and exceed the needs of our travelers with disabilities, which makes ACI’s accreditation of our accessibility services extremely gratifying. We are making additional improvements to our airport terminal, with the goal of providing greater customer satisfaction to all of our visitors.”

Daniella Levine Cava, County Mayor of Miami-Dade, commented, “We strive to make Miami-Dade County services as accessible as possible to all of our residents, which is why I am so proud that MIA’s efforts to serve travelers with disabilities are being recognized internationally. As MIA continues to grow and improve at every level, this global accreditation is evidence that the customer experience at the gateway to our community is on the right track.”

For more key accessibility updates from the passenger terminal industry, click here.

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