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Toronto Pearson is now offering Aira service, a leading-edge assistive technology, to help travellers with sight loss navigate the airport independently.
Using the Aira iPhone or Android mobile phone application, passengers can connect to a specially trained, human agent for navigational assistance as they journey through the airport.
Pearson is the first airport in Canada to offer Aira to its passengers.
“At Toronto Pearson, we have a vision to be the best airport in the world, and this starts with ensuring that our passengers – all of our passengers – are able to navigate the airport independently,” says Kurush Minocher, associate director, Passenger Development, at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA). “We are proud to bring Aira’s easy-to-use service to Toronto Pearson. Passengers with sight loss now have more choice in how they travel through the airport, from curb to gate.”
Aira works via a smartphone or optional Aira Horizon video-equipped smart glasses, connecting passengers with sight loss to remotely located Aira agents. Through the smart glasses or phone camera, Aira’s trained professionals provide on-demand, personalized access to visual information to help passengers navigate the airport. Aira service is available in both Terminals 1 and 3 and within Toronto Pearson parking facilities.
“The CNIB Foundation has been working in close consultation with the GTAA to identify ways to improve the travel experience for passengers with sight loss at Canada’s largest airport,” says Shane Silver, vice-president, Social Enterprise & Innovation, Canadian National Institute for the Blind. “This announcement is a positive step on the journey to improving airport accessibility for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. We commend the GTAA for its ongoing commitment to inclusivity.”
Aira is a subscription service, but passengers with sight loss will be able to use Aira technology for free at Toronto Pearson; all that is required is a smartphone and the Aira application, which can be downloaded for free from Google Play or the Apple App Store (data charges may apply).
“Aira’s mission is to make information instantly accessible, anytime, anywhere,” says Suman Kanuganti, president and founder of Aira. “We’re excited to welcome Toronto Pearson as our first Aira Airport Access Partner in Canada.”
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