Wellington Airport’s new virtual assistant app for visually impaired passengers

Visually impaired passengers at Wellington Airport now have access to a free virtual assistant, providing live updates and information when travelling through the airport.

The virtual assistant app, from US organisation Aira, assists navigation through the airport and helps passengers find specific locations like gates, retail outlets and airport facilities like check-in counters and toilets.

Ayolt Wiertsema, General Manager of Aeronautical Operations, said: “Feedback we’ve received says it provides a sense of freedom to do what all travelers like to do, grab a bite to eat or find what they need before a flight.”

Passengers can download the Aira app on their smartphone or access through Horizon smart glasses. The app has thousands of users across the globe and is also available for other international airports like Heathrow and Los Angeles, supermarket chains and universities.

Mr Wiertsema said using the virtual assistant means visually impaired passengers won’t have to rely—as much—on others to assist them.

Wellington Airport is the first airport in New Zealand to offer a service for the visually impaired and is only one of two airports outside the United States.

Photo credit: Wellington Airport