The National Academies

ACRP 01-31 [Final]

Innovative Solutions to Facilitate Accessibility for Airport Travelers with Disabilities

  Project Data
Funds: $350,000
Research Agency: Open Doors Organization
Principal Investigator: Laurel Van Horn
Effective Date: 6/16/2016
Completion Date: 4/15/2019

ACRP Research Report 210 provides guidance and information to airports and their stakeholders on innovative solutions to facilitate accessibility for passengers with a variety of physical, sensory and/or cognitive challenges. This guidance is applicable to all types and sizes of airports and includes leveraging digital or physical innovation at passenger touchpoints and throughout the course of the journey, including at remote terminals.
The guidance starts with an understanding of the needs of travelers with disabilities and older adults and continues with the various journey segments from arriving to the airport by ground transportation through security to gate, disembarkation, terminal exit and leaving the airport. It also includes architecture and design, as well as IT and assistive technologies.  
Airports strive to make their facilities more user-friendly by going beyond compliance to respond to the changing demographics and unique needs of the 21st century traveler.  
Air transportation has become a more affordable option for all types of travelers.  In addition, travelers have become more independent and willing to travel regardless of age, disability or limitations in mobility. The airport industry has adopted specific design codes in response to state and federal regulatory requirements including The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to accommodate employees and travelers with disabilities. These design codes include general architectural guidelines and technology adapted for transportation facilities. Airports need guidance on current and potential innovations, technologies, business practices, and partnerships with stakeholders to better address the needs of passengers who have a variety of physical, sensory and/or cognitive challenges.
Research under ACRP Project 01-31 was led by Open Doors Organization in association with Alliiance, Arora Engineers, Trillion Aviation, and Indiana University. The research included a thorough literature review and outreach with at least 15 domestic and international airports as well as focus groups, user needs surveys, and airport case studies. Several non-airports including a medical establishment, cruise line and an entertainment resort, were also reviewed for their applicable practices and technology.
STATUS:  Report 210 is published 

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