Greater Toronto Airports Authority host first airport familiarisation tour for autistic individuals and their families
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) to host a welcoming airport travel familiarisation tour for families with neuro divergent needs.
GTAA, Air Transat and Autism Ontario host first airport familiarisation tour for autistic individuals and their families
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) partnered with Air Transat and Autism Ontario to host its first annual ‘Ready, Set, Fly…with YYZ’ experience, a unique, immersive, and welcoming airport travel familiarisation tour for families with neuro divergent needs.
Amidst lots of laughter and smiles, about 100 people were welcomed at Toronto Pearson for a chance to simulate all aspects of travelling, including check-in, security screening, boarding a real airplane, customs and interacting with airport staff. The important event strives to help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neuro divergent needs reduce their anxiety about flying by giving them real-life experience navigating Canada’s busiest airport.
“At Toronto Pearson, we want to create opportunities where everyone can access the joys and security of air travel in the ways that work for them. Our team is working hard to provide everyone with a seamless, consistent, and inclusive experience,” said Khalil Lamrabet, Chief Commercial Officer, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “The realisation of ‘Ready, Set, Fly…with YYZ’ stands as a testament to the remarkable power of collaboration and our unwavering commitment to inclusivity, driven by the insights and experiences of the families we serve.”
“As a mother to a child with autism, I know first hand how challenging travelling can be for people with ASD. This type of event not only helps to prepare families like mine and provide them with the confidence to travel, but it also serves as an important educational experience for staff,” said Chrystal Healy, VP Corporate Responsibility, Air Transat. “I know there is so much more we can do to improve our accessibility journey, but I am inspired every day by the commitment of our team to provide the best experience for all our customers. We will honour this commitment to accessibility by continuing to consult our stakeholders and passengers and by training our staff. We are very pleased to collaborate with GTAA and Autism Ontario to help offer this concrete initiative, ‘Ready Set Fly,’ to the Toronto community.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Toronto Pearson and Air Transat on this exciting initiative. When the travel industry listens to and responds to the travelling needs of autistic and neuro diverse and their caregivers, it’s not only the right thing to do in a truly inclusive society, but it’s good for business and long-term customer loyalty. That’s a win-win situation for everyone,” said Marg Spoelstra, Chief Operating Officer, Autism Ontario.
“Ready, Set, Fly…With YYZ” will be held on an annual basis to continue expanding Toronto Pearson’s commitment to being a leader in accessibility.
To learn more about accessibility at Toronto Pearson, visit: torontopearson.com/accessibility.