Laughter and cheers were on hand at the 8th annual Premium Kids event held today at YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, a program which resumed after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions. This unique day enables children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or functional limitations to familiarize themselves with the airport process and reduce their anxiety about flying.
ADM Aéroports de Montréal volunteers and collaborators warmly welcomed close to 200 participants who experienced the complete airport journey – from arriving at the parking lot to boarding an airplane and listening to in-flight security instructions – while complying with current health measures.
“We are very pleased to be able to resume an initiative that makes a real difference in the lives of participants,” said Martin Massé, Vice President, Sustainability at ADM. “ADM Aéroports de Montréal is constantly working to ensure that travel is accessible to as many passengers as possible. This morning, we provided the children and their families with a unique experience and gave their parents hope that one day, they will be able to consider flying as a family. We warmly thank all the volunteers, our employees and our partners who made this day a tremendous success.”
The event is organized by ADM jointly with the following partners: Air Transat; Autisme Montréal; the Giant Steps; Transport Canada; the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA); the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA); Securitas; HMSHost; and Montréal Airport Marriott Hotel.
This initiative is inspired by a similar program, “Wings for Autism,” created in 2011 by the Charles River Center in collaboration with the Massachusetts Port Authority (Logan International Airport, Boston). ADM became the first airport authority in Canada to implement such a program at YUL in 2013.