Accessibility and inclusion top Hong Kong airport agenda
- Written by George Sensalis
In pursuit of excellence, Hong Kong international airport upgraded its website achieving the Silver Award in the Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme.
The revamped website design of HKIA has taken into consideration the needs of the visually impaired. The site’s current format meets all 15 criteria set out by the Hong Kong Blind Union.
The new HKIA website provides text alternatives for non-text content like photos, banners, charts and icons, allowing screen readers to convert text to synthetic speech.
The site now features links for the visually-impaired to skip the left and top navigation menus, diverting them to the main content of the respective page. This feature offers much convenience as they need not keep going through navigation menus. HKIA website now provides an audio version of this captcha for people who are unable to see.
Upgrading the website to make it accessible and inclusive is just one of the many services Hong Kong international airport offers passengers with special needs.
By example, HKIA boasts five car parks, with the open-air Car Park 1 and multi-storey Car Park 4 offering reserved spaces for special needs, located next to lifts.
The Airport Ambassador Programme (AAP) is one of the service initiatives to make sure all passengers feel at home the minute they arrive at the airport. Airport Ambassadors are stationed at high-traffic locations throughout the terminals to offer immediate help to passengers in need.
Dedicated 24-hour help phones are located throughout the terminals, including the entrances along the departures kerbs. A wheelchair service is available for departing, arriving, transfer and transit passengers. The service can be booked through the airline or the travel agent, or through Worldwide Flight Services, which 24/7 hotline can be reached at +852 2261 2727.
HKIA is also keeping an eye out on sustainability. In spite of passenger volume growing by 6.1% in 2013/2014, the airport’s total electricity usage dropped by 4.2%, one of HKIA biggest environmental footprint reductions since the airport opened in 1998.
The cut in the AA’s electricity usage resulted from two major initiatives: the LED replacement programme and the chiller optimisation programme. Upon completing of both projects, the airport will use about 20 million kWh in electricity less per year. The cut in electricity usage equals to 12,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.