Airlines are working to improve accessibility, but airports also need to step up. People with disability are making regular complaints, and older people are likely to just give up travelling by air. Not good for the travel industry or tourism. So a well researched guide is welcome in this space. Wayfinding is far more than just good signage – it starts with the whole building design. Airport wayfinding is about the customer experience and promoting independent travel. That’s regardless of age or ability.
Enhancing Airport Wayfinding for Aging Travelers and Persons with Disabilities is a comprehensive guide for wayfinding professionals, signage designers, and interior designers. It is published by the US Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program. It comes with a checklist that emphasises community consultation as part of their universal design approach to wayfinding. The PDF is free but you need to sign in.
There are eight chapters in the guide:
- Understanding the needs of aging travelers and passengers with disability
- Wayfinding strategies via visual, verbal and virtual communication
- Airport planning and design consideration
- Departing customer journey
- Arriving customer journey
- Connecting customer journey
- Wayfinding technologies for aging travellers and persons with disability
To achieve the overall objective of helping aging travellers and persons with disabilities to travel independently, an airport has to consider more than just helping these customers know where to go.