The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) this week announced the launch of a new program to allow travelers with hidden disabilities to self-identify their possible need for additional assistance from personnel at Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport (PVD).
The “Sunflower Program” is a voluntary program in which individuals can request a free sunflower lanyard, which when worn allows travelers with hidden disabilities to discreetly indicate they might need additional assistance from airport employees, such as the extra time needed at check-in or security, escorting to gates, or assistance with reading signage or other common airport procedures.
“Providing the best passenger experience is the goal of everyone at Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport,” said Iftikhar Ahmad, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation. “As part of that commitment we are launching the Sunflower Program to allow passengers with hidden disabilities to discreetly inform airport personnel of their possible need for additional assistance or extra time to complete a task when traveling through an airport.”
The Sunflower Lanyard Program was introduced by Gatwick Airport in 2016, and is now in place in 25 airports in the U.S. and 72 airports around the world, with that number expected to grow over time.
No documentation is required for those requesting the sunflower lanyard. Participation is voluntary, and passengers do not need to disclose the nature of their disability. Passengers will still be required to arrange special assistance with their airlines and TSA Cares.