Canada airport gets gold for accessibility

Canada airport gets gold for accessibility



The Ottawa International Airport (YOW) has received the “Accessibility Certified Gold” rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility CertificationTM (RHFAC) program.

The foundation, created by Canadian sportsman and traveler Rick Hansen, is working to increase the accessibility of facilities and services for people with disabilities. As part of the program, more than 1,200 buildings throughout Canada have already passed accessibility checks. The first airport to receive the highest rating in the accessibility rating - gold, was Vancouver Airport in 2019.

For YOW, notable accessibility features include:


  • A strategic wayfinding system that is consistent throughout the building;
  • A variety of seating options, with and without arm rests;
  • Universal washrooms with accessible features such as adult-size change tables and emergency call systems;
  • Roll-up, automatic drinking fountains;
  • A variety of flooring options, in particular carpeting that is easy to roll on; and
  • Parkade facility with accessible parking with direct access to the pedestrian walkways that lead to the elevator lobbies for safe movement.


“The airport terminal, which opened in 2003, was built with accessibility in mind. As building code and accessibility standards have evolved over the years, along with the needs of the community, the Authority has endeavoured to not only keep up, but to exceed these standards as it strives to provide the best possible passenger experience,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority.