We are delighted that on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Bahrain International Airport launched Hidden Disabilities Sunflower for a seamless travel experience for all passengers with hidden disabilities, as part of their "We See You" Initiative in cooperation with the Supreme Council for Health and the Ministry of Health. Muharraq, Bahrain – December 03, 2023:
Under the slogan “We See You”, Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), the operator and managing body of Bahrain International Airport (BIA), has announced the official launch of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower under the patronage of H.E Lieutenant General Doctor Sheikh Mohamed Bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa Chairman of the Supreme Council of Health, and in collaboration with the Supreme Council of Health and the Ministry of Health. The event was attended by Gulf Air Group Holding Chairman (GFG) H.E Mr Zayed R. Alzayani, GFG CEO Mr Jeffrey Goh, BAC CEO Mr Mohamed Yousif Al Binfalah, and BIA strategic partners.
Bahrain International Airport has become the second airport in the Middle East to implement the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower . This pioneering initiative aims to enhance the travel experience for individuals with hidden disabilities, ensuring their needs are recognized, understood, and supported throughout their journey. The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a globally recognized program that employs the use of a discreet sunflower symbol to identify passengers with non-visible disabilities. By wearing the sunflower lanyard, individuals can indicate to airport staff that they may require additional assistance or have specific needs that should be addressed.
Passengers with hidden disabilities, such as autism, anxiety disorders, dementia, Crohn's disease, and more, who require additional support can proceed to check-in counter B19, where they can receive the Sunflower lanyard. Wearing this lanyard will signify to all airport staff members that the passenger may need special handling and assistance during security procedures, navigating the airport, or boarding.
H.E. Lieutenant General Doctor Sheikh Mohamed Bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa, Chairman of the Supreme Council of Health, commented on the significance of this program,
"The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is a critical step towards fostering inclusivity and understanding within our society. By partnering with Bahrain International Airport and the Ministry of Health, we aim to raise awareness and promote a more supportive environment for individuals with hidden disabilities. We believe that this initiative will contribute to their overall well-being and enable them to travel with confidence."
H.E. Mr. Zayed R. Alzayani expressed his contentment about this Bahrain Airport Company initiative, stating,
"This initiative aligns with our vision of creating a more accessible travel environment, ensuring that every passenger feels supported at Bahrain International Airport. We work side by side with our strategic partners across the airport to enhance the travel experience for passengers with visible and invisible disabilities, such as those with autism, chronic fatigue, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The initiative also falls in line with the resolution of the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization and the United Nations Convention of 2019 on the rights of persons with disabilities, both of which affirm the right of all individuals with disabilities to enjoy all basic rights and freedoms.”
He further added,
“We aim to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities at all stages throughout our airport, especially those with invisible disabilities such as autism, chronic fatigue, or chronic pain.”
Mr. Paul White, the CEO of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower said ,
” We’re thrilled that Bahrain International Airport is joining the global Hidden Disabilities Sunflower network. The launch of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower highlights the airport's commitment to create a welcoming environment for passengers and visitors with non-visible disabilities. It serves as a reminder that non-visible disabilities should not act as a barrier to travel and we're excited to see the positive influence the Sunflower will have on the travel experiences of People of Determination at Bahrain Airport."
BAC has already conducted comprehensive training for a total of 100 frontliners from various airport stakeholders to equip the airport staff with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide specialized support and assistance to passengers with hidden disabilities. The training encompassed BAC terminal operations, Aviation Security, Gulf Air, Duty Free, Airport Police, Customs, Immigration, Hala Bahrain, and Bahrain Airport Services (BAS).
The launch of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower at Bahrain International Airport signifies a major milestone in the pursuit of a more inclusive travel experience, ensuring that all passengers, regardless of their abilities, receive equal opportunities and exceptional service throughout their journey.
For more information, please visit www.Bahrainairport.bh