MIA earns global ACI accreditation for accessibility

Miami International Airport has been accredited by Airports Council International (ACI) with the Accessibility Enhancement Accreditation programme.

MIA Accessibility

Airport is first in Florida, second in the U.S. recognised by industry association. CREDIT: Miami International Airport

In recognition of its commitment to “prioritising and ensuring an accessible, safe, and inclusive traveling experience for passengers with disabilities,” Miami International Airport (MIA) has been accredited by the Airports Council International (ACI) Accessibility Enhancement Accreditation (AEA) programme. 

MIA is the first airport in Florida and second in the United States to be accredited by the programme, which was created by ACI in September 2022 based on existing international best practices and recommendations, including those in the ACI Airport and Persons with Disability Handbook. The AEA programme also received input from global airport members, industry partners, and accessibility advocacy groups.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said, “we strive to make Miami-Dade County services as accessible as possible to all of our residents, which is why I am so proud that MIA’s efforts to serve travellers with disabilities are being recognised internationally. As MIA continues to grow and improve at every level, this global accreditation is evidence that the customer experience at the gateway to our community is on the right track.”

MIA earned the three-year accreditation by completing a detailed questionnaire developed with the support of the ACI Accessibility Advisory Group, which includes representatives from member airports, training providers, consultants, and accessibility organisations. Independent subject matter experts then performed an online validation interview with MIA representatives to evaluate the questionnaire.

Within the last 10 years, MIA’s MyMIAccess programme has launched a diverse menu of accessibility services, such as: the MIAair tour programme, which allows passengers with disabilities the opportunity to practice the travel experience in a safe and controlled environment; accessibility lanes in its U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) areas; wheelchair charging stations at 10 convenient locations; sunflower lanyards free of charge to travellers with hidden disabilities; multi-sensory rooms in its North and South terminals, where young passengers with cognitive and developmental disabilities can find a calming place to relax during the travel experience; the Aira Airport Network, a free mobile service that allows blind or low-vision travellers to receive navigation assistance at MIA; and seven service animal relief areas with indoor and outdoor locations.

Ralph Cutié, MIA Director and CEO, said “we have worked tirelessly to meet and exceed the needs of our travellers with disabilities, which makes ACI’s accreditation of our accessibility services extremely gratifying. We are making additional improvements to our airport terminal, with the goal of providing greater customer satisfaction to all of our visitors.”

The ACI accreditation is the latest in a series of accolades MIA has received for its accessibility services. In July 2022, MIA received the Civil Rights Advocate and Partner Award from the Federal Aviation Administration, which honours 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. MIA also won the 2021 Airport Accessibility Award during the Sixth Annual Airport Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM) Leadership Conference, after earning 50% of the votes from the virtual conference’s 159 attendees from 42 countries around the world.

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