ACI launch Accessibility Enhancement Accreditation Program

Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports with 712 members operating 1925 airports in 171 countries, has launched Accessibility Enhancement Accreditation Program.The Accessibility Enhancement Accreditation (AEA) program provides a continuous path of improvement for airports in the area of accessibility for passengers with disabilities. It is designed to help airports measure, evaluate, and improve their access management and culture. It also enables airports to demonstrate to airport users, regulators, and the aviation ecosystem that they are implementing international best practices and recommendations. The Accessibility Enhancement Accreditation (AEA) provides several benefits to airports of all sizes, in every region of the world. It provides an assessment leveraging international accessibility best practices; facilitates access to a safe and positive travelling experience for travelers with disabilities and showcases an airport’s inclusive culture. It also helps airports incorporate the concepts of Universal Design in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and their national regulations. It assists airports in implementing existing global best practices and recommendations, including those put forward in the ACI Airport and Persons with Disability Handbook It is the only international assessment or accreditation program solely dedicated to airports’ accessibility to passengers with disabilities. Airports must ensure they are prioritizing National Regulations on the matter of accessibility. The program is based on existing international best practices and recommendations, including those put forward in the ACI Airport and Persons with Disability Handbook, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and Universal Design concepts. The application process also involves a virtual evaluation conducted by ACI. This serves to determine if the airport is applying a systematic management approach and whether accessibility-related responsibilities and best practices are being met. The process usually takes one to two weeks from request to completion, depending on the size of the airport and the length of time taken by the airport to gather the supporting evidence. The accreditation will be valid for three calendar years. To remain accredited, airports must submit a new application once the previous one has expired. In November 2022, İGA Istanbul Airport became the first airport in the world to be accredited under its new Accessibility Enhancement Accreditation program, a first-of-its-kind program dedicated to airport accessibility.

Source: ACI