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MIA hosts rehearsal tour for future travelers with special needs

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MIA Director and CEO Ralph Cutié and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Raquel A. Regalado joined participants for the MIAair tour on April 17.

The goal of the MIAair program is for anyone – regardless of their disability – to experience the magic and wonder of flight. Since the tours began in 2015, more than 150 families have participated.

In recognition of Autism Acceptance Month, Miami International Airport hosted its latest MIA Airport Instruction and Readiness (MIAair) tour for 14 children with special needs and their families or guardians. The tour allowed participants to rehearse the air travel experience from start to finish, all the way to an airplane seat, in a safe and controlled environment. The tour also included 13 patients from the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis who have suffered spinal cord injuries and have a permanent disability.  

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MIAair participants in the cockpit with the GlobalX flight crew.

Families practiced entering the airport, getting boarding passes, going through security, and boarding a GlobalX plane. The program also served as a learning experience for airline and TSA workers at MIA. 

“We strive to make Miami-Dade County services as accessible as possible to all of our residents, which is why I am so proud of MIA’s successful efforts to empower travelers with disabilities through its award-winning MIAair tour program. Thanks to this month’s MIAair tour, more children and their families have increased confidence about not letting their disability prevent them from enjoying the thrill of air travel at MIA.” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

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MIAair participants practice preparing for takeoff during the tour.

Last year, MIA became the first airport in Florida and the second in the U.S. to be accredited by the Airports Council International (ACI) Accessibility Enhancement Accreditation (AEA) program,  in recognition of MIA’s commitment to “prioritizing and ensuring an accessible, safe, and inclusive traveling experience for passengers with disabilities.”

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