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Piarco and ANR Robinson International Airports are Autism Friendly!

Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (“the Authority”), through its Aviation Training Center (ATCEN), has partnered with the Autistic Society of Trinidad and Tobago as part of an initiative to foster Autism awareness among airport workers, who may encounter travellers with Autism while performing their duties.  Led by Manager of the ATCEN - Mr Sheldon Harper, the initiative is an important stride towards the Authority’s customer service goals. By creating an Autism Friendly airport at the Piarco International and ANR Robinson International Airports, the Authority not only satisfies its social responsibility to the society of Trinidad and Tobago as a corporate entity, but becomes the first airport in the region to adopt such considerations. 

According to the General Manager of the Authority, Mr Hayden Newton, “catering to a diverse customer base and meeting the unique needs of each customer remain priorities to the Authority”. This initiative employs a cross-collaborative effort of staff at all levels of the establishment as well as across all departments, which would ensure a holistic development and progression of what is at first a mere initiative to being inculcated as part of AATT culture; the tangible facilitations which would bring the initiative into fruition would reflect this priority.

The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurological development disorder which affects the social skills of persons. ASD is not detected by some physical abnormality and it is often described as ‘invisible’. It is for this reason that this sensitization exercise remains imperative. Education on ASD would allow for greater equity in the service provided by the Airports Authority, as the special needs of persons with Autism can be understood and catered to. To this end, for the periods 28th November to 2nd December, 2016 and 5th to 9th December, 2016, lectures for staff and airport stakeholders were conducted at the Piarco and the ANR Robinson International Airports, respectively, by the Autistic Society of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Authority reemphasizes its unwavering commitment to achieving excellence in customer service; assuming its corporate social responsibility; and being the leader of diverse and innovative aviation business in the region. The Authority is pleased to partner with the Autistic Society of Trinidad and Tobago to make Piarco International Airport and the ANR Robinson International Airports Autism-Friendly, where all airport users can be treated with dignity, fairness, respect and understanding. For more information, kindly contact the Corporate Communications Manager, Mrs Zola Joseph, by email at zjoseph@tntairports.com.