MIA Earns High Praise from FAA for Airport Accessibility
In recognition of its outstanding achievements in airport accessibility, Miami International Airport received the Civil Rights Advocate and Partner Award from the Federal Aviation Administration during its 13th Annual National Civil Rights and Training Conference for Airports on July 28. The award came just two days after the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) being signed into law on July 26, 1990.
The award honors ADA coordinators and airport sponsors who have demonstrated excellence in meeting the letter and the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
“Congratulations to the entire MIA team for once again being recognized as an industry leader in passenger accessibility,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “I am committed to making air travel as easy, safe, and accessible for all our visitors, regardless of disability, as we celebrate the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. My administration has prioritized accessibility across the government and county, including a full-funded and staffed ADA compliance office and the relaunching of an internship program for young people with disabilities. I’m extremely proud to see MIA bolster that commitment and be recognized with this prestigious honor from our federal government.”
MIA was recognized for its myMIAccess program, which provides a diverse menu of services for travelers with disabilities. Most recently, in May 2021, MIA became the first airport in the U.S. to install wheelchair charging stations airport-wide. The charging stations offer people with electric mobility devices the opportunity to enjoy travel without the stress of low batteries. In November 2020, MIA opened its second multi-sensory room for passengers with cognitive and developmental disabilities to enjoy a calm environment while traveling. That same year, MIA became one of 10 U.S. airports and 60 worldwide to provide sunflower lanyards free of charge to passengers with hidden disabilities. The lanyards are a discrete way to communicate to airport staff that those passengers may need more time or have additional questions while traveling.
MIA also hosts quarterly ADA Open Access Committee meetings, which provide an open forum for dialogue between airport users, airlines, service companies, and airport leadership. The committee is led by a community member and disability advocate who acts as the chairperson in all meetings.
The Civil Rights Advocate and Partner Award is the second industry honor within the last year for the myMIAccess program. Last October, MIA was the overall winner of the 2021 Airport Accessibility Award during the 6th Annual Airport Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM) Leadership Conference, after earning 50 percent of the votes from the virtual conference’s 159 attendees from 42 countries around the world.
“We are deeply honored to receive this award from the FAA, in recognition of our efforts to engage with the local disability community and provide a smoother travel experience for them,” Ralph Cutié, MIA Director and CEO. “We take great pride in responding to the diverse needs of our travelers and in making our services more accessible and inclusive for all.”