Miami International Airport (MIA) has received the Civil Rights Advocate and Partner Award from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The award honours ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) 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.
MIA was recognised for its myMIAccess programme, which provides a range of services for travellers with disabilities. Most recently, in May 2021, MIA became the first airport in the US 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, designed to help passengers with cognitive and developmental disabilities enjoy a calm environment while travelling. That same year, MIA became one of 10 US airports and 60 worldwide to provide sunflower lanyards free of charge to passengers with hidden disabilities.
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 honour within the last year for the myMIAccess programme. In October 2021, MIA was the overall winner of the 2021 Airport Accessibility Award, having won 50% of the votes of the attendees at the Sixth Annual Airport Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM) Leadership Conference. Held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference involved 159 attendees from 42 countries.
MIA director and CEO Ralph Cutié said of the latest win, “We are deeply honoured 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. We take great pride in responding to the diverse needs of our travellers and in making our services more accessible and inclusive for all.”