Press Releases

Press Releases

Esenboğa and Adnan Menderes airports serve as 'obstacle-free airport’ models in the UN

Ankara Esenboğa and Izmir Adnan Menderes airports have received USTAD 2011:2015 Certification, accredited by the World Disability Union, for the works carried out to make all services provided at the airport available for passengers with disabilities. Esenboğa and Adnan Menderes airports will be presented as "Best Practices" at the forum that will be held at the United Nations.

Operated by TAV Airports, Ankara Esenboğa and Izmir Adnan Menderes airports were audited and certificated by GlobalGROUP for USTAD for 2011:2015 Environment and Construction Standard prepared by World Disability Union (WDU) Technical Committee thanks to their 'obstacle-free airport' projects. Last year, TAV became the first organization in Turkey that received USTAD 2011:2015 certification for the works carried out at Atatürk Airport and were presented as "the Best Practice" at the United Nations. This year, Ankara Esenboğa and Izmir Adnan Menderes airports will be presented as "the best model" during 9th UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Meeting, which will be held at UN headquarters in New York between June 14th and 16th. All three airports operated by TAV have been certificated in the Platinum Level.

TAV Esenboğa General Manager Nuray Demirer stated: “Airports that are entrance and exit gates of cities have to be accessible for everyone. We carried out extensive works to remove obstacles at Esenboğa Airport to enable all our passengers get equal services. We are glad that the steps we have taken so far are in compliance with international standards which are independently audited and certificated by World Disability Union (WDU) and GlobalGROUP and that we will be presented as "the Best Practice" at the UN."

TAV Ege General Manager Erkan Balcı expressed: “We are obliged to offer equal services and rights to every guest at the airports where millions of passengers use per annum. Therefore, we have undertaken various projects to make all services provided at Adnan Menderes Airport available for passengers with disabilities. We are glad that our implementations are certified at international standards and presented as the Best Practice at the UN. May our works set an example to remove all obstacles, not just during travels but in all parts of everyday life, for the persons with disabilities."

World Disability Union Vice President Necdet Öztürk mentioned: "The first and the most important obstacle for the rights of disabled people are the faults and non-standard implementations in buildings and social environment. There are physical obstacles in all areas of daily life from educational institutions to health, employment, culture and sports facilities. The reason of the obstacles is the lack of standard requirements in the implementations and services. Our goal is to promote USTAD 2011:2015 Environment and Construction Standard which was prepared in accordance with Disability Law No. 5378 in Turkey, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and UN World Program of Action concerning Disabled Persons. Constituting 15 percent of world's population, persons with disabilities shall enjoy equal and fair benefits at all environments and be integrated into society."

As part of the Obstacle-free Airport project, tactile surfaces have been fitted within terminal buildings and car parks of Ankara Esenboğa and Izmir Adnan Menderes airports. Audio alert systems have been fitted in all lifts announcing floor information in Turkish and English. Restrooms within the terminals have been renovated for the use of disabled passengers. Heights of pay phones have been re-adjusted to accommodate passengers in wheel-chairs. Assistance points have been set up at the airports. Employees received training in basic sign language in order to increase efficiency of the service provided to disabled passengers. In 2015, the number of passengers using the system for disabled guests increased by 20 percent compared to 2014 in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.

Participated by more than 300 organizations in disability rights field from 75 countries, WDU headquarters operates in Istanbul. USTAD 2011:2015 was developed by World Disability Union in accordance with Disability Law No. 5378, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and UN World Program of Action concerning Disabled Persons. The standards audit the convenience of the structures for the access of persons with disabilities.

9th UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be held between June 14th and 16th, 2016 at the headquarters of UN in New York. Turkey became a contracting party to the convention in 2009. The implementations at Esenboğa and Adnan Menderes airports will be presented as Best Practices in the civil society forum, which will be held in parallel to the meeting.