John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 4 recently announced it is the first airport terminal in the New York City area to launch Aira Access. The innovative service will provide passengers who are blind or have low vision with instant access to enhanced visual information and real-time service to navigate Terminal 4 and have a stress-free airport experience.
Through Aira Access, passengers can use a smartphone app to connect with an agent, who uses the video stream from the phone’s camera, GPS, and other web data to provide visual descriptions on demand. Aira Access enables people who are blind or have low vision to freely and confidently move through crowds, avoid obstacles and arrive at their desired locations on time. Passengers can also use Aira Access to check flight status, find gates and luggage, use self-service kiosks, navigate through TSA checkpoints, and locate restaurants and retail services.
With 10 million people who are blind or low vision in the US, it is becoming increasingly important for airport authorities to provide access to visual information for passengers who can benefit from it. T4 joins the more than 30 airports across the country and around the world that have deployed Aira Access for travelers. Aira Access is also available in sports venues, public buildings, and leading retailers.
“At T4, we are always looking for ways to better serve our passengers, and Aira Access is an excellent tool for improving the airport experience for those travelers who are blind or low vision,” Roel Huinink, President and CEO of JFKIAT. “We are proud to be the first New York City airport terminal to bring this service on board to continue improving the customer experience at T4.”
Greg Stilson, Director of Product Management at Aira, and an Aira user himself said, “The noisy and chaotic atmosphere of an airport can make air travel a challenging experience for blind and low-vision travelers. Aira Access enhances the airport experience by empowering blind and low-vision travelers to navigate the terminal on their own terms and times. We’re incredibly excited to see this service now available in JFK Terminal 4.
T4 prides itself on providing an accessible terminal for all passengers. In addition to launching Aira Access, the terminal also recently became the first airport terminal to offer Jetweels’ non-metallic, lightweight and ergonomic seat-equipped wheelchairs to improve the travel experience for passengers who need wheelchair assistance. It also offers a post-security pet relief area for guide and service dogs.
JFK International Air Terminal, LLC. (JFKIAT) is the operator of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, one of the most active air terminals in the New York area, serving 34 international and domestic airlines with an annual passenger volume of more than 21 million travelers in 2018. Terminal 4 is the first existing airport terminal in the U.S. to receive LEED Gold certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for operations and maintenance. The Terminal’s expansive Retail Lounge offers an unparalleled experience for travelers with a wide range of food and beverage and retail options, from chic to upscale and from convenience stores, to electronics, accessories and gifts. Terminal 4 was the first air terminal in North America operated by a private management company. JFKIAT’s managing member is Schiphol USA Inc., a U.S. affiliate of Royal Schiphol Group.
Aira is a service that connects blind and low-vision people to highly trained, remotely-located agents. At the touch of a button, Aira delivers instant access to information, enhancing everyday efficiency, engagement, and independence.