Ground handler Swissport and the Italian Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (UICI) will launch an inclusive employment project for the visually impaired

The 'Flying beyond sight, destination inclusion' initiative will debut at Rome Fiumicino Airport at the beginning of the 2024 summer season. This project aims to foster the professional integration of individuals with visual impairments in airport ground handling.

For the first time in Italy, visually impaired people will be working in passenger assistance at an airport. Following their training, from July they will be deployed at Fiumicino, where Swissport handles more than 50% of flights and provides ground handling services for 35 airlines, including ITA Airways.

The initiative involves an initial seasonal deployment. The aim is to lay the foundations for a project to integrate visually impaired individuals that can be extended to Milan Linate and other airports where Swissport operates.

“I am proud that we are embarking on a common path of inclusion for people with visual impairments in airport professions. For having believed in the project and for contributing to its realisation, I am infinitely grateful to UICI. Swissport promotes a working environment where people can develop their potential. We believe in equal opportunities and the value of diversity and inclusion, fostering creativity, and professional growth,” said Marina Bottelli, managing director of Swissport Italia.

Mario Barbuto, national president of the Italian Federation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, added, “Today there are more than 30 million blind and visually impaired people in Europe and 1.5 million, in Italy a large portion of whom remain unemployed. However, with proper training, visual impairment does not preclude most employment opportunities. I thank Swissport for being a pioneer in this regard.”

Swissport operates at Milan Linate and Rome Fiumicino airports, employing around 2,800 people in Italy.

The initiative will make its Fiumicino debut in summer 2024
The initiative will make its Fiumicino debut in summer 2024 Swissport