FOLLOW US ON

Like us on Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
YouTube

For inquiries, contact:

Deanne Thompson
Manager, Public Relations/PIO
949.252.5182
dthompson@ocair.com

News Releases

June 10, 2020

JOHN WAYNE AIRPORT “HELPING HANDS” PROGRAM RECEIVES NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

2020 NACo AwardSANTA ANA, Calif – The National Association of Counties (NACo) presented John Wayne Airport with an Achievement Award for Best in Category – Human Services for the Airport’s “Helping Hands” program. The program provides individualized assistance, easing the stress associated with airport travel for individuals with an autism spectrum disorder and other hidden disabilities.

While airport travel can be a fun and exciting experience, overstimulating variables such as bright lights, noises, TSA security screening, and crowds can be especially overwhelming. John Wayne Airport launched “Helping Hands” to meet the needs of families traveling with individuals with hidden disabilities to make air travel less challenging and provide a superior guest experience for all who come through the Thomas F. Riley Terminal.

The program facilitates communication with TSA to arrange for TSA Cares assistance; coordinates with airlines to arrange special assistance; provides personalized help guiding travelers through the arrival, check-in, security, and boarding processes; and conducts pre-travel tours to help prepare for the trip. Participants are also provided with yellow bracelets to inform Airport employees that additional time and extra care may be needed.

Since its inception in November 2018, the program has fulfilled approximately 100 requests for personalized assistance or tours and continues to grow. The service is provided at no charge and is available daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. To learn more about Helping Hands, click here or call 949-252-5200.

NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program recognizes innovative and effective county government programs in 18 different categories that strengthen services for residents. To learn more about NACo, visit www.naco.org.

-###-

John Wayne Airport (SNA) is owned by the County of Orange and is operated as a self-supporting enterprise that receives no general fund tax revenue. The Airport serves more than 10 million passengers annually and reaches more than 20 nonstop destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. More information can be found at www.ocair.com. Like us on facebook.com/johnwayneairport, or follow us on Twitter @johnwayneair and Instagram @johnwayneair.