Wellington International Airport flying towards great heights

Inside the Wellington AirportA big congratulations to Wellington International Airport, for achieving a Gold Be. Welcome rating last month. Wellington Airport began their accessibility journey with us in 2015, when they commissioned an assessment and received a Bronze rating. After four years of major airport upgrades, and lots of fantastic improvements, we are delighted to announce that they have moved first to Silver and now to a Gold Be. Welcome assessment rating- reflecting an excellent level of accessibility.

We’re really proud of the work they’ve been doing and are excited to share some of the fantastic things that they have been up to- including infrastructure upgrades and also newly introduced initiatives which improve the accessibility of the airport experience.

We love the way Wellington Airport have ensured that the entire user experience is accessible, from the very first contact with the airport- with a well laid out website, with good contrast and accessibility features, incorporating a special assistance page and plenty of maps of the airport; through to the infrastructure and facilities within the airport itself- with clear and easy to follow wayfinding signage, and accessible toilets (including allgender accessible toilets); all the way through to understanding that accessibility is also about great customer service. The airport has introduced both a volunteer ambassador programme and paid customer experience agents to ensure that all visitors and passengers can find their way seamlessly around the airport.

In seeking a better experience for blind or low vision passengers the airport has become the first in New Zealand to offer the use of the AIRA app for free. This app employs the camera on a smartphone to connect with a trained visual assistant, who provides information for the user describing where they are and where they’re going.

The Airport has also introduced a hidden disabilities programme, which has already been used successfully at Brisbane airport. This allows customers to opt to wear a lanyard, to alert staff discretely that they might need extra assistance or support during their trip.

And the team at Wellington International Airport aren’t stopping there- they’re continuing to make plans to implement new improvements in the future- and are committed to achieving Platinum accessibility status.

We spoke with Be. Coach Genevieve McLachlan who completed the assessment, and she said “It was so refreshing to do this assessment with a team who are so on board- it wasn’t just about ticking a box for them, they really believe in what they’re doing and are wanting support around that”.

Airport Head of Operations, Matthew Palliser, told us “At Wellington Airport we are proud of the environment we have created for the many passengers that pass through our facilities. Going through the Be. Welcome programme was hugely beneficial, with informing what type of facilities and technology solutions we provide now and should consider looking forward towards the future.”

We’re blown away by their positive attitude and commitment to making Wellington Airport the most accessible little international airport in the world!