Phoenix Sky Harbor launches free app to help blind, visually impaired travelers

Phoenix Sky Harbor is working with the "Aira" app to make its airport more accessible to blind...
Phoenix Sky Harbor is working with the "Aira" app to make its airport more accessible to blind and low-vision travelers.(free to use)
Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 11:57 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Travelers who are blind or visually impaired and are flying out of Phoenix Sky Harbor have a new app to help make their day a little easier. Airport officials announced Monday that it has launched a new service, called Aira, to help guide them through crowds, obstacles, gates, self-service kiosks, and even TSA security checkpoints.

Visual interpreters help guide travelers by getting live-streamed videos as travelers work their way through the airport. Trained professionals help provide descriptive audio that helps provide independence. It’s the latest effort to help make Sky Harbor more accessible. Other recent changes include improved access for people using hearing aids, and a sensory room for people with autism, dementia, and/or other sensory conditions.

“The addition of Aira service started with a constituent request to my office, asking to see how we could improve accessibility at Phoenix Sky Harbor,” said Phoenix Councilwoman Debra Stark. She’s the chair of the city’s Transportation, Infrastructure, and Planning Subcommittee. “I’m proud that the Aviation team took this to heart, and made it happen. It’s really a success story for their commitment to customer service.” The airport partnered with Foundation for Blind Children to help promote the app.

While Aira typically charges a monthly fee for its services, the app can be accessed at no cost at the airport. It can be downloaded for free on the App Store or Google Play. For more information, click/tap here.