20 December 2017
ADR and ENAC met with the biggest autism organisations to review the actions undertaken in the airport one year after the project’s start, and to share the next steps.

Fiumicino, 20 December 2017 – In December 2016, ADR and the main national airport managers joined the “Autism – Travelling Through the Airport” initiative promoted by ENAC, with collaboration from Assaeroporti and other sector organisations. Today, one year on from the start of ADR’s involvement in the project, the Terrazza Roma in Terminal 3 at Fiumicino hosted a meeting between the biggest organisations working with autism in connection with travel requirements.


Introduced at Bari Airport in November 2015 and rolled out across the country in collaboration with the Italian Autism Foundation and the Federazione Fantasia, the aim of the “pilot” initiative was to simplify the experience of travelling by air, narrating it with detailed informative brochures and creating “social stories”. Another component of the project was helping autistic individuals to have a peaceful airplane journey. A procedure identified by ENAC in conjunction with management companies allows them to visit the airport in advance, and receive various information about the experience they will have.


In October, ADR published its own “social story” on its official site, created with an informative video showing Fiumicino airport in 360 degrees: from the car park to the means of transport available and sounds that passengers encounter in the departures hall, it shows check-in operations, security controls, and the restaurant and relaxation areas before boarding.


Today’s meeting was an opportunity for the main organisations involved to see what ADR and ENAC have achieved over the past year, and to share new potential ideas to make further improvements to the service provided by ADR Assistance to autistic passengers, as well as the best methods for effective communication.


ADR Assistance consistently collaborates with the two Italian federations that represent disabilities, FAND and FISH, and with no-profit FIABA to tackle architectural challenges.


The Head of Airport Management Lazio, Patrizia Terlizzi, stated: “Thanks to the commitment and dedication of all individuals involved in this important programme, airports are more increasingly becoming places inspired by the values of hospitality and integration. The awareness and attention that one of the main airport systems has paid to this initiative contributes to improving and enhancing a project that was highly requested by ENAC and designed to guarantee the right to mobility of all citizens. We wish to underline the valuable contribution of the sector organisations who participated in the project and who, with dedication and passion, collaborated in the creation of special personalised routes to ensure that autistic individuals are familiar with the complex airport environment.


Fiumicino is now one of the best European hubs, a leader, greatly due to our extreme attention to quality, which has allowed us to vastly increase investments in infrastructures and services, placing passengers and their needs at the centre of our attention,” commented Ivan Bassato, Director of Airport Management. “We care a great deal about this initiative and the commitment we have made with ADR Assistance, an Aeroporti di Roma company dedicated to assisting passengers with reduced mobility of any kind, and which recently supported the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing World Championships 2017, welcoming over 200 athletes from 30 countries to the airport. Today, we turn our attention to the needs of autistic passengers, and thanks to the ENAC project in collaboration with leading sector associations, this year we were able to improve our services in this particular area. With the help of a team of over 300 operators, our goal is make air transport even more accessible and airport transfers as comfortable as possible.




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