MALTA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LAUNCHES INITIATIVES TO BECOME AUTISM-FRIENDLY AIRPORT

Malta International Airport has lit up its terminal facade blue to mark World Autism Awareness week. Beyond this symbolic gesture, the airport is also launching a pilot programme which includes a series of initiatives aimed at easing the way to the aircraft for autistic individuals.

Passengers travelling with autistic children and autistic adults can now fill in a form available on the airport website ahead of their trip to indicate whether they would be needing additional assistance while travelling through Malta International Airport.

A distinctive identifier provided by the airport may also be worn, alerting staff members to the fact that a particular individual may need more time to process information and some additional help in preparing for check-in and security screening.

A spokesperson for the airport said that the bustle and many stimuli of terminals can turn a trip into an ordeal for autistic passengers and their families, and expressed the hope that these initiatives would contribute to making the journey as pleasant as possible for these guests, in line with the airport’s commitment of providing travellers with the best airport experience.

The airport has also designated different areas within the terminal as quiet spaces, providing a calming environment away from the airport buzz for these passengers to wait in until it is time for the next part of their journey.

In collaboration with The Inspire Foundation, Malta International Airport will be organising sensitivity training sessions for its frontliners with the aim of furnishing them with a basic understanding of the condition and practical guidance about how to best interact with autistic individuals.

Malta International Airport has also launched a dedicated website page providing tips and information about all of the facilitating services available at the airport, which can be accessed here.

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