This past Saturday, the Charlottetown Airport Authority (CAA) in partnership with the Autism Society of Prince Edward Island hosted a mock travel day for individuals on the autism spectrum and their caregivers.
Participants experienced airport processes first hand including check-in, security screening, and waiting in the departures lounge.
The Autism Aviators program was developed by the Halifax Stanfield International Airport and Autism Nova Scotia and helps to ease the travel process for individuals on the autism spectrum. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects brain development in 1 of every 68 children. Because individuals with autism have different responses to sensory stimulation and dislike unfamiliar situations or breaks from their daily routine, it can present challenges when it comes to air travel.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the day and the partnership we have formed with the Charlottetown Airport,” said Autism PEI Executive Director, Nathalie Walsh. “Travelling sometimes just isn’t an option for families who have members on the autism spectrum but a day like this can make the option a possibility again. Our hope today is that this event has given families the confidence to travel in the future.”
Along with the mock travel day, resources developed by the Halifax Stanfield International Airport and Autism NS are now available on the airport’s website for families traveling in the future. To view the resources, go to www.flypei.com/autism_aviators.
“We hope to host this event on an annual basis and continue to educate the Airport community on ASD so that they become familiar with the Autism Aviator’s logo and give special care to these travelers,” says Vanessa Smith, Manager, Marketing & Communications at CAA.
The Charlottetown Airport Authority and Autism PEI would like to thank their partners who helped to make this day possible including Air Canada Jazz, CATSA, DP Murphy Inc., Halifax Stanfield International Airport and Autism Nova Scotia.