Thursday 1 October, 2020

Airports Authority on drive to improve accessibility at airports

Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT), through its Aviation Training Centre (ATCEN), has commenced the second phase of an initiative to make Piarco International Airport and ANR Robinson International Airport, Autism and Disability Friendly.

In a release, the AATT says that on Thursday 23 February 2018, an Accessible Advisory Committee was commissioned, which includes representatives from the Consortium of Disabled Organisation (CODO), the Autistic Society of Trinidad and Tobago (ASTT), Disabled Peoples International (DPI) and the AATT.

At the inaugural meeting of the Committee, the Authority presented proposed initiatives geared towards facilitating and providing a more comfortable and enjoyable experience at the country's airports for persons with visual/cognitive and/or manual disabilities who travel or use the airports' facilities.

According to the release, these proposals were developed further to the hosting of the Airports Council International (ACI) Accommodating Passengers with Disabilities Workshop that took place from Monday 15 January 2018 to Wednesday 17 January 2018 through the Aviation Training Centre. 

On this course, members of airport staff were taught basic skillsets to work with persons with disabilities. The lecturing team used this opportunity to assess the airport facilities and make suggestions that could assist with making Trinidad and Tobago's airports more accessible.

These suggestions include modifications to the public car park to include additional accessible car parking spots, the utilisation of technologies and innovations to alert the Authority of travel plans, the establishment of a specialised team to facilitate the travel process for the differently-abled and their travel companions, as well as alterations to the terminal buildings.

The Committee took the opportunity to review these proposals during the meeting and made additional recommendations which would ensure that the disabled community is adequately accommodated at the country's airports. The goal is now to implement these recommendations and to continue working closely as a committee to achieve accessibility for all.

General Manager of the AATT, Hayden Newton stated that “the Authority has engaged the differently-abled community to find ways to improve on our customer service facilitation for our customers who are differently-abled. We understand our responsibility, and will make every effort to work with all of our stakeholders to ensure that all of our customers have a safe and comfortable experience at our airport facilities”.

The Authority says it stands firm in its commitment to delivering excellent customer service and the provision of a seamless travel experience for all of its valued customers.



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