Inspiring Brazilian airports with one single airport for everyone

Zurich Airport Brasil tells International Airport Review how they are working to make their airports more accessible for all passengers and provide them with a first-class service.

Zurich Airport Brasil

Zurich Airport Brasil on using innovation to improve infrastructure and passenger experience.

Airports are naturally dynamic places. The confluence of a diverse public moving at different paces and with individual attention focused on timetables, gates and processes, tends to bring out feelings that range from excitement for the trip to occasional moments of distress due to the sequence of steps required between arriving at the terminal and being seated on the plane.

The airports managed by Zurich Airport Brasil are already benchmarks due to the focus they give to developing environments and actions that make passengers’ journeys easier and contribute to a smooth, welcoming and comfortable experience. Florianópolis and Vitória were chosen by passengers as the first- and second-best airports in Brazil, respectively, in a survey carried out by the federal government.

Air travel for all

In line with this ongoing quest for excellence, we created a customer experience initiative called ‘Zurich Airports for Everyone’. This is an unprecedented project in Brazilian airports, the purpose of which is to achieve the highest quality of service for adults and children with disabilities or reduced mobility. The set of actions includes training and developing teams, creating adequate spaces and providing detailed attention to the wellbeing of passengers.

This means, for example, that when a person walks through the departure lounge in one of our airports they will be able to find a customer service agent who can communicate in Libras (Brazilian Sign Language) to answer passengers’ questions, while nearby, in a separate room, people with autism will be interacting in a silent and multi-sensory environment while they wait for their flight away from the busy lobby, which can sometimes be one of the more stressful places in the airport. Passengers who bring their dogs along for the trip, for emotional support or just company, will find a pet restroom in this area for their convenience.

Zurich Airports for Everyone was developed in accordance with ESG best practices and it focused on inclusion and accessibility. The project’s identity was also inspired by the UN symbol, which refers to the commitment to universal accessibility. Our programme consists of four macro areas of action: management, communication, innovation and physical spaces.

The management initiatives are linked to planning, organising and developing resources to make sure the programme is sustainable and in a constant state of evolution and innovation. An important and decisive milestone during the design and development of the programme was to create a Multidisciplinary Working Group with employees from the areas of innovation and excellence, engineering and infrastructure, communication and airport operations. External stakeholders, such as associations, airlines and universities were also invited to this group and the joint work fostered ideas that took shape, expanded and are now in a continuous cycle of adaptation and improvement.
The communication initiatives are focused on developing the teams that provide direct assistance for people with disabilities. To this end, therefore, we planned and carried out a series of courses and processes involving Zurich Airport Brasil employees, airlines and the airport community.

Our Innovation Lab, for example, used resources to adapt a robot guide dog for those who are blind within our airport environs

The practical training involved how to correctly approach and provide the necessary and personalised support for wheelchair users, people with visual impairment and people with reduced mobility, in addition to training in Libras (Brazilian Sign Language) and assistance for neurodivergent children and young people. We realised that this has also improved the practice of creating empathy with all passengers, because stress and anxiety are natural conditions that can arise during a possible setback and we need to be ready, calm and confident, both to offer tranquillity and comfort and to make assertive decisions on a case-by-case basis.

The innovation initiatives, in turn, contributes to the programme in terms of the constant attention to new processes and technologies, aimed at continuously improving the passengers’ complete experience within the airport site. Our Innovation Lab, for example, used resources to adapt a robot guide dog for those who are blind within our airport environs.

We believe that our actions will inspire other Brazilian airports. There has been considerable investment into airport infrastructure in Brazil, which is a vast country and one which will once again be operating an extensive airline network in 2023, with prospects of definitively resuming flights after the period of uncertainty caused by the pandemic. As from the beginning of the high season here (it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere), we at Zurich Airport Brasil are prepared to operate the largest and most diversified airline network in recent years, meeting the demands of all our passengers, according to their different needs. 

Neuza Wagner

About the authors

Neuza is currently Quality, Innovation and Excellence Coordinator of Zurich Airports Brasil. Neuza has more than 13 years of experience in aviation, with expertise in passenger experience.


With more over 17 years of experience in aviation industry, Fabio has worked in different segments such as airlines, ground handling companies and airports. Innovation and efficiency are his core values and currently is the COO of the Zurich Airport Brasil.

Anderson-PinheiroAnderson is currently Engineering, Maintenance, Sustainability and SESMT Manager at Zurich Airports Brasil. Anderson has 10 years of experience in aviation, with expertise in airport design, engineering and maintenance.


Pablo-BarbosaPablo is currently Engineering and Maintenance Coordinator of Zurich Airports Brasil and has more than 12 years of experience in aviation, with expertise in passenger experience.



Sarah-GalhardoSarah is an Architect and currently works as a Projects analyst at Zurich Airport Brasil.
She has more than seven years of airport experience, with expertise in airport design and engineering.


LUCAS-AFONSO-MEIRELES-DE-OLIVEIRA.Lucas is a Civil Engineer with six years of airport experience and currently works as a Projects analyst at Zurich Airports Brasil.


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