King Salman Center for Disability Research & King Khalid International Airport Win the 2022 Airport Accessibility Award

King Salman Center for Disability Research & King Khalid International Airport Win the 2022 Airport Accessibility Award

Ozion Airport Software are delighted to have delivered the 2022 Airport Accessibility Award winner trophies to King Khalid International Airport (Saudi Arabia) and King Salman Center for Disability research during the 6th International Conference for Disability and Rehabilitation at Al-Faisal University in Riyadh on December 5th.

The 7th Airport PRM Leadership Conference brought together leading PRM stakeholders from Accessibility Service Operations in Airports, Service Providers, Airlines and Authorities to share their operational and strategic challenges and solutions in a post-Covid environment.

The Airport Accessibility Awards, has grown to become an integral part of the conference, this year received the most nominations since its conception three years ago, testament to the innovations and progress airports, globally, are implementing to influence a seamless passenger experience.

This year’s finalists, selected by a committee of internationally acclaimed accessibility experts, included; East Midlands Airport (United Kingdom), Bahrain International Airport (Bahrain) and King Khalid International Airport (Saudi Arabia).

Each finalist took to the stage to present, and share their latest innovation(s) before attending delegates voted for whom they believed should be awarded the 3rd Airport Accessibility Award.

This year’s prestigious recognition went to the collaborative effort between King Khalid International Airport (Saudi Arabia) and King Salman Center for Disability research for their creative and innovative delivery of a sensory room for passengers of all ages. The initiative was especially recognized as being the first of its kind in the Middle East. Joining previous 2021 Winners Miami International Airport (USA), and 2020 winners Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport.

Ghada Alyemni, Communication Design Lead, presented the joint effort and stages of the sensory room delivery that has been driven by Kholoud Ibrahim AlShaya from concept to construction where each detail was deliberately contemplated including its’ interior design, colour schemes and staff uniforms etc. to create a relaxed, familiar and consistent environment.

The sensory room, sponsored by Saudi Aramco, was opened in 2021 at the domestic terminal and has since received support and plans for replication in the international terminal. Sensory room expansion projects have also been approved in King Abdulaziz International Airport (Jeddah) and King Fahd International Airport (Ad Dammam) with construction expected to begin next year before a countrywide deployment of sensory rooms in all major Saudi Arabian Airports.

The Trophies for the 3rd OZION Accessibility Awards were delivered by Kevin Knight – Senior Solutions Architect at Ozion Airport Software and Roberto Castiglioni MBE Co-host of the Airport PRM Leadership Conference and Director of Reduced Mobility Rights Limited to their recipients on December 5th during a ceremony attended by the majority of stakeholders taking positive strides to making accessible travel as inclusive as possible as the Saudi Arabia evolves and strives towards achieving its tourism objectives, set by the 2030 Saudi Vision to welcome 100 million visitors annually.

His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman AlSaud expressed his happiness that the two organizations received the award, confirming the Kingdom’s determination to improve and develop various services for persons with disabilities, including accessibility services. He added that this award is one of the fruits of the King Salman Center’s cooperation with the relevant authorities to raise disability awareness and improve various services for people with disabilities.

Notable attendees included His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, Special Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of King Salman Center for Disability Research (KSCDR).   Princess Daniah bint Abdullah Al Saud, – Mohammed AlThomairi – Vice President of Saudi Aramco Affairs, – Abdulaziz AlDahmash – Vice President of Quality and Passenger Experience at the General Authority of Civil Aviation – Eng., Mohammed AlMaghlouth – CEO of Riyadh Airports Company, Abdulaziz Al-Asaker- Vice President of the CEO of Riyadh Airports Company – Kholoud Ibrahim AlShaya – Consultant at King Salman Center for Disability Research & Sensory Room Project Manager. – Ghada Abdulaziz AlYemni – Communication Design Lead.

Speaking of the award, Kholoud Ibrahim AlShaya (Consultant at King Salman Center for Disability Research & Sensory Room Project Manager) shared her delight; “it’s a wonderful moment, we’ve been delighted to share everything we’ve been working towards to make travel for disabled passengers a more inclusive experience. At the moment we are welcoming 800 passengers a month at the sensory room and are receiving wonderful feedback, not only from the passengers, but also their families. Passengers are feeling safe and relaxed during their time in the room which makes their continued journey a much calmer and positive experience. With support from Saudi Aramco, we are overjoyed that we will be able to expand this experience for passengers throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in due course as we will continue to develop and put accessible travel at the forefront of our efforts”.

Expanding on Kholoud’s sentiment, Eng Mohammed AlMaghlouth – CEO of Riyad Airports Company went on to explain “this reaffirms the number of joint achievements achieved by Riyadh Airports in partnership with the King Salman Center for Disability Research in order to serve people with disabilities. This honour will motivate us to continue to provide everything that is distinctive in serving this precious category and work to achieve the highest standards that ensure facilitating their journey through the airport.”

Following the unveiling of the sensory room at the 7th Annual Airport PRM Leadership conference, Kholoud Ibrahim AlShaya is working in close relation with other airports outside of Saudi Arabia in an advisory role for sensory room initiatives and welcomes the opportunity to discuss the processes with fellow PRM stakeholders who are interested in offering a similar sensory room experience in their own environment.



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