Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) has introduced a new initiative for passengers with hidden disabilities such as autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), global development delay (GDD) and sensory processing disorder.
The Butterfly Effect initiative aims to provide a more relaxed and manageable airport experience coupled with special professional assistance from airport ground staff to this specific group of passengers. Facilities and services provided include priority access and lanes at all major touchpoints, a Calm Room, and sensory walls installed across the terminal.
Additionally, the airport is offering mock airport journey experiences called The Butterfly’s Adventure for passengers with hidden disabilities and their families to familiarize and acclimatize themselves with the airport experience and environment. As part of the tour, participants will experience the whole airport journey from checking in and going through security screening until entering the boarding gate. These prearranged tours will be held fortnightly for five families per session.
Malaysia Airports corporate communications general manager Nik Anis Zakaria commented, “Being a Caring Host, we want to promote inclusivity where everyone can have a joyful experience at our airport when they travel. With our Butterfly Effect initiative in place, we can further ensure safety and security while being mindful of hidden disabilities by helping ease people’s journey along the way. Additional Covid-19 standard operating procedures [SOPs] that have been implemented may also mean a more challenging journey for this group of passengers. We hope to alleviate some of these anxieties for them.”
The Calm Room, which is a main feature of the initiative, is located on Level 5 at Terminal 1. It is an enclosed safe haven shielded from outside noise to soothe passengers with sensory issues, and is equipped with multiple activity stations to keep them happily occupied. KLIA has also installed 10 sensory walls across both terminals (six in Terminal 1 and four in Terminal 2), providing endless exploration to special passengers through tactile, visual and auditory play.
Passengers who wish to use these facilities must first register through the Malaysia Airports corporate website at https://airports.malaysiaairports.com.my/klia2-airport-amenities/services/butterfly-effect three days prior to their flight and will need to bring with them either the official Persons with Disability (OKU) card or a letter from any hospital or clinic confirming the disability.