Wellington Airport Goes for Gold!

8th July

Wellington AirportCan you imagine the difficulties of undergoing a major redevelopment when your business is open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? This is the very challenge faced by Wellington Airport which is currently in the middle of a major redevelopment project, begun in December 2014 and on track to be completed before the end of 2016. What’s really exciting about this project is that many of the changes and improvements are being made with accessible user experience as a starting point.

The Airport commissioned a Be. Welcome accessibility report in 2015 when the extension project was already underway, and received a Bronze rating. The team at Wellington Airport has since made a number of improvements to their accessibility to achieve a Silver Be. Welcome rating last month. Congratulations Wellington Airport!

We spoke with the airport’s Manager Landside and Customer Engagement Ajay Makhija, and he said that their priority is the best possible passenger experience, so improvements to accessibility just make sense. Undergoing a Be. Welcome assessment has made the team really understand the impact that these improvements to accessibility make for those with access needs, and this understanding has influenced subsequent decision making. Makhija said “If there are no barriers to accessibility, then everyone can actively participate resulting in commercial benefits for the airport too”.

New signage at Wellington Airport The team from Wellington Airport are really proud of the changes that have been made so far. The accessible features of the website have been improved. Unisex accessible toilets have been incorporated in the extension and the ground floor toilets will be renovated to include unisex accessible toilets shortly. Makijha said that the idea of “wayfinding” really made sense to them as something that would significantly improve the experience for all passengers, and the airport has developed new signage guidelines which will be implemented across the airport this year starting with the extension project. 

The team at Wellington Airport are keen to get to Gold standard accessibility, so keep an eye out for more accessible improvements happening at Wellington Airport in the future!