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Miami International Airport and American Airlines Introduce New Autonomous Wheelchairs

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, officials from American Airlines, Envoy Air, WHILL Mobility Services, and the Miami Dade Aviation Department announced the introduction of 10 new autonomous power wheelchairs on Friday, June 21st, 2024.


Miami International Airport and American Airlines Introduce Autonomous Power Wheelchairs for Passengers With Limited Mobility - Courtesy MIA

On Tuesday (June 25, 2024), Miami International Airport (MIA) announced the introduction of ten new autonomous power wheelchairs for passengers with reduced mobility.  The official announcement took place on Friday, June 21st, 2024, in a ceremony attended by officials from American Airlines, Envoy Air, WHILL Mobility Services, and the Miami Dade Aviation Department.  The ten new autonomous power chairs are now being used by Envoy Air to transport American Airlines’ passengers at MIA.


In Tuesday’s announcement, Miami-Dade County’s Mayor, Daniella Levine Cava, said,

 

“As part of our unprecedented efforts to modernize our airport and improve our customer experience, we ensure our county services are as accessible as possible for all our residents and visitors.  Our hometown airport continues to be an award-winning industry leader in accessibility, so it brings me great joy to see MIA become the first airport in the country with these state-of-the-art self-driving wheelchairs.  Thanks to Envoy Air and WHILL Mobility Services, travelers of all abilities have another way to access the wonder of air travel at MIA.”

 

MIA became the first U.S. airport to receive autonomous wheelchairs developed by WHILL, Inc. this spring.  The self-driving mobility devices transport customers to their desired gate after they select their destination on a touch screen.  Inside concourses D and E at MIA, an average of 120 passengers are using the chairs daily. 


The new autonomous wheelchairs join a wide range of accessibility services available at MIA, including the MIAair tour program, which allows passengers with disabilities to practice the travel experience in a safe and controlled environment, accessibility lanes in the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and passport control areas, and 10 conveniently located wheelchair charging locations.  The airport also offers sunflower lanyards free of charge for travelers with hidden disabilities and multi-sensory rooms in concourses D and J, where young passengers with cognitive and developmental disabilities can find a calming place to relax.  For customers who are blind or suffer from low-vision, the Aira Airport Network is also available, which is a free mobile service offering navigation assistance. 


Pictured are Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (center at podium); Marie Onga, VP of Customer Experience, WHILL Mobility Services (far left); MIA Director and CEO Ralph Cutié (second from right); Migdoel Rosa, Envoy Air Miami Hub VP (third from right); and community advocates for travelers with disabilities. – Courtesy MIA

Miami International Airport is America’s second busiest airport for international passengers, and the busiest airport for international freight.  The airport is currently receiving an unprecedented $7.0 billion in capital improvements and $1.7 billion in maintenance upgrades.  MIA offers more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other airline, and is a leading economic engine for Miami-Dade county and the State of Florida,  generating revenue of $31.9 billion annually.  Approximately 60 percent of all international travelers to Florida annually utilize Miami International Airport.


 

Source: Miami International Airport

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