Accessible Airport Awards were presented at the ACI General Assembly in Paris on Wednesday, 13 June. Stockholm, Dublin, Copenhagen and Larnaca airports were nominated for the Award together with Riga Airport.
The Accessible Airport Award is presented for the second year to airports, which have introduced services and infrastructure to help passengers with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility (PRM). For an airport to be eligible for this Award, it must have fully implemented EU Regulation 1107/2006, which determines what assistance must be provided by airports and airlines to persons with disabilities, stressing that this assistance must be ensured free of charge.
As specified in the Accessible Airport Award description: ""Accessibility" in the context of this Award does not only mean physical accessibility for wheelchair users but for all persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility. It concerns both availability of terminals and surrounding infrastructure, as well as information and communication - signage, websites, flight announcements, check-in, and other facilities."
Airport Award applications were assessed by a special jury made up of people with disabilities, who travel on a regular basis.
"If you are a PRM passenger, you have the same opportunities to enjoy travelling by aircraft as anyone else. Riga Airport ensures individual approach to each passenger with reduced mobility, providing tailored services with respect and reverence, without any discrimination and respecting each person's wish to be as independent as possible. We are proud and satisfied that our progress in helping travellers with special needs has been acknowledged at the international level," says Ilona Līce, Chairperson of the Board of Riga International Airport.
ACI is an international organisation that unites airports around the world. Founded in 1991, the Council represents the interests of airports, develops and improves airport operational standards, policies and recommended practices, and provides training to aviation professionals in order to raise airport operational quality and safety.
The European Disability Forum is an international non-governmental organisation, which represents more than 80 million Europeans with disabilities, uniting organisations for people with disabilities from all over Europe. The organisation was founded in 1996 to propose new legal acts and look for ways to represent and protect rights of people with disabilities in all political areas.
Riga International Airport is the largest air traffic hub in the Baltics. The 20 airlines operating at Riga Airport offer more than 60 destinations in the winter season and almost 90 in the summer season. In 2016, Riga Airport handled over 5.4 million passengers - nearly 45% of the entire Baltic air passenger traffic.