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News Release - July 15, 2022

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program

The Comox Valley Airport is proud to offer the globally recognized Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program to support passengers with hidden disabilities, also known as invisible disabilities. The Sunflower logo, in the form of a lanyard, wristband, sticker or button may be worn to assist those travelling with invisible disabilities who may need a little extra patience, care and assistance during their travel experience.

Vancouver (YVR) and Toronto Pearson airports, along with a growing list of international airports, railways and airlines have adopted the program that originated at Gatwick Airport in 2016. While the Sunflower Program will not replace communication of special requirements with air carriers, or bypass security lines, it does inform airport staff that the wearer may need a little bit more time, or understanding during their journey through the airport.

Passenger Henry Tunke was happy to receive his lanyard from CVAC Ambassador Val Little, "It just makes life a little easier", said Tunke, before his WestJet flight to Calgary. A free and voluntary program, the Sunflower items are now available from the Comox Airport Ambassadors, and Airport staff, or may be pre-ordered prior to travel.

"We're constantly looking at ways to improve accessibility at the airport, and aiding passengers with hidden disabilities makes perfect sense," said Mike Atkins, Airport CEO. "Passengers with special needs should continue to keep their air carrier advised so that appropriate accommodations can be arranged, but as they negotiate terminal services and security here and at the hub airports, the Sunflower Lanyard will aid interactions and understanding, making travel a bit easier."

See www.comoxairport.com/sunflower for more information on accessibility at the airport, and the Sunflower Lanyard program.

About Comox Valley Airport Commission
The Comox Valley Airport Commission (CVAC) is a federally incorporated, non-profit entity, established through letters patent in 1996. The nine-member Commission is broadly representative of the Comox Valley community and its members are nominated by the City of Courtenay, the Town of Comox, the Village of Cumberland, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce

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Media Contact:

Erin Neely
Comox Valley Airport
Cell: 250-218-2269