MIAair Tour kicks off Autism Awareness Month at MIA
Eleven families with special needs children receive airport dress rehearsal
On March 28, Miami International Airport hosted its largest MIAair (Airport Instruction and Readiness) tour to date for 11 families with special needs children, just ahead of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 and the start of National Autism Awareness Month.
Families who attended the tour practiced entering the airport, checking in and receiving boarding passes, going through a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint, and boarding a plane. At the end of the tour, children receive a MIAair certificate of completion and travel resource materials. The MIAair program also simultaneously provides a learning experience for airport, airline and TSA workers, in how to better serve travelers with disabilities.
Since its launch at the end of 2015, MIAair has graduated more than 30 special needs travelers. In developing the program, organizers have found that many families altogether avoid air travel out of fear that the airport experience would add emotional distress or disruptions to their plans.
The goal of the MIAair program is for everyone to experience the magic and wonder of flight, regardless of their disability. Congratulations to our newest graduates and their families, and we look forward to welcoming many more.
Developed in partnership with the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) and the Ear Institute at UHealth, the MIAair “dress rehearsals” allow special needs travelers and their family members the opportunity to walk through an airport travel experience from start to finish in a safe and controlled environment.
Miami International Airport offers more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other U.S. airport, is America’s third-busiest airport for international passengers, boasts a lineup of more than 100 air carriers and is the top U.S. airport for international freight. MIA, along with its general aviation airports, is also the leading economic engine for Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida, generating business revenue of $33.7 billion annually and welcoming 70 percent of all international visitors to Florida. MIA’s vision is to grow from a recognized hemispheric hub to a global airport of choice that offers customers a world-class experience and an expanded route network with direct passenger and cargo access to all world regions. MIA is committed to sustainable practices. Learn more at www.MIAefficiency.com. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, transportation and more, visit www.miami-airport.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.