Assessing Airport Programs for Travelers with Disabilities and Older Adults

The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) has undertaken several syntheses and research projects to identify and study ways airports provide assistance to older travelers and those with disabilities as they navigate through airports and use airport services. However, none of this research has conducted a systematic assessment of the effectiveness of these programs and services. Airports mainly depend on anecdotal evidence including lack of customer complaints and limited customer feedback to gauge the success of these programs and services. Research is needed that will address this gap by providing examples of best practices and evaluation tools. The objective of this research is to prepare a guidebook with assessment tools (to include a presentation and video) to help airports develop, monitor, and evaluate programs and services that improve the airport experience for travelers with disabilities and older adults. The guidebook will be developed for a variety of types and sizes of airports to utilize when considering new and evaluating existing programs and services. Considerations should include, at a minimum: the different types of disabilities; demographics of airport users; digital accessibility (e.g., airport websites, smartphone apps, etc.);facility accessibility (e.g., restrooms, service animal relief areas, adult changing rooms); wayfinding; ground transportation and access; outreach and education of disability groups, senior centers, and involvement of advocacy groups on services available at the airport; a review of the airport’s executive commitment to accessibility (e.g., financial, operational and capital programs); wheelchair issues (e.g., space storage, labor implications, customer complaints); lessons learned to include general aviation airport applications; the latest emerging technology solutions and their potential impact (both positive and negative) on older travelers and those with disabilities; volunteer airport programs; and the complete passenger journey to include pre-trip information, access to and within the airport, and arrival to destination.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 01-48

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Schatz, Theresia

  • Performing Organizations:

    IOS Partners, Incorporated

    Coral Gables, FL  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ryan, Patricia

  • Start Date: 20200504
  • Expected Completion Date: 20211103
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01713682
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 01-48
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 12 2019 10:19PM