YOW Earns “Accessibility Certified Gold” From Rick Hansen Foundation

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Ottawa International Airport (YOW) has received the "Accessibility Certified Gold" rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program. 

RHFAC is the first program to rate meaningful access, based upon the holistic user experience of people with varying disabilities affecting their mobility, vision and hearing. To date, over 1,200 buildings have been rated through the program.

"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. 

"We are delighted to have achieved this exceptional level of certification which is a tribute to the Authority's commitment to an accessible terminal for all passengers, employees and visitors."

"My sincerest congratulations to the Ottawa International Airport on this remarkable achievement. Your commitment to creating an accessible environment for everyone who travels through the airport – whether it be employees, tourists, or people returning home – demonstrates a true leader in creating a Canada where everyone can go everywhere. Your leadership sets the bar for others across our country and the globe to follow suit," said Rick Hansen, Founder, Rick Hansen Foundation.

RHFAC is a program that rates the level of meaningful access in commercial, institutional and multi-residential buildings and sites, offering a snapshot of the sites current level of accessibility. 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.


For more information about the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program, visit the Rick Hansen Foundation website

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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