LAWA Launches New App to Help Blind and Low Vision Guests Navigate LAX with a Smartphone and Virtual Guide

05/08/2019 05:35 PM

Guests use app to receive real-time descriptions for airport navigation.
For Immediate Release
May 8, 2019

Frederick Badlissi
(424) 646-5260


An Aira guide connects to Maria Johnson's smartphone and provides real-time descriptions of the Tom Bradley  International Terminal's Departures level.

(Los Angeles, CA) Today, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) demonstrated a cutting-edge, app-based technology that allows blind and low vision guests to navigate Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with the help of a live, internet-connected remote assistant. All that is needed to access the free service, which is now available at LAX, is a smartphone with a camera.

“Los Angeles World Airports' aim is to create an airport that is connected, efficient and accessible to all passengers, including those who are blind or low vision,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Innovation and Commercial Strategy Officer, LAWA. “LAWA’s investment in the Aira platform is just one more way that we are leveraging innovation to improve how our guests experience the airport.”

To offer the Aira service, LAWA purchases minutes from a common use fund administered by the American Association of Airport Executives' (AAAE) Innovation Fund, which allows LAX to offer the service at no cost to guests. Once connected to the service over a cellular network or LAX's fast and free Wi-Fi, the remote assistant describes to the user what he or she sees through the smartphone camera with spoken, real-time descriptions of the guest's environment. Not only will the assistant help navigate the guest between locations within the airport, they also can help with reading menus and signage, assist with check in and provide other navigation information.

"When we set out to provide a gold-standard airport experience for everyone, we mean everyone, including those who are experiencing sensory or physical disability, which is why we’re so excited to launch the Aira app at LAX," said Lawrence Rolon, ADA Coordinator, LAWA. "Many people with vision disabilities have told me of their desire to travel independently through the airport. Aira will allow blind travelers experience the independence they desire when traveling through LAX." 

To use Aira, guests must download the app from Apple's App Store or the Google Play Store. LAX guests then register for one of Aira's plans, which includes a free guest account. Guests who are coming to LAX can complete these steps prior to arriving at the airport. Upon arrival, guests will receive an audio notification from their smartphone that they are at LAX, and Aira is available. The app can be used throughout LAX's nine terminals, except inside Customs and Border Protection (CBP) screening areas.

“Aira’s mission is to make information instantly accessible, anytime, anywhere," said Suman Kanuganti, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Aira. "With more than 87 million passengers coming through LAWA Airports each year, this partnership will allow Aira’s technology to reach a huge number of people, enhancing the airport experience for travelers who are blind and low vision."

For more information about traveling with special needs at LAX, click here.

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX, the fourth-busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States, was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX. LAX served more than 87.5 million passengers in 2018 and offers an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 109 cities in the U.S. and 1,281 weekly nonstop flights to 93 markets in 47 countries on 69 commercial airlines. LAX ranks 10th in the world in air cargo tonnage processed, with more than 2.4 million tons of air cargo. LAX handled 707,883 operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2018.  

LAX generated 620,600 jobs in Southern California, with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion, according to an economic study based on 2014 operations. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues. The study also reported that LAX’s ongoing capital improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion; $966 million in state and local taxes; and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues.


LAX was honored as having the “Best Overall Customer Service Program” by Airports Council International-North America; named the “Best Airport for Breastfeeding Moms” by Mamava; selected for the Top 10 “Best of the U.S.’s Big Airports” (Wall Street Journal) and “Most Pet-Friendly Airports in the U.S. (Mental Floss); named the second-most improved airport in the U.S. by JD Power; received an “Innovation Award” from the L.A. Better Business Challenge for its Central Utility Plant; and named  a “Business Leader in Air Quality” by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

LAX is also the second-most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram, according to LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.   

For more information about LAX, please visit or follow on Twitter  @flyLAXAirport, on Facebook at, and on YouTube at  

About Aira

Aira is a service that connects blind and low-vision people to highly trained, remotely-located

agents. At the touch of a button, Aira delivers instant access to information, enhancing everyday

efficiency, engagement, and independence. More information at


How does Aira work? It’s simple:

1. Download the free “Aira” app for free using, or call 1-800-835-1934.

1. Connect with a certified Aira agent.

2. Receive real-time assistance.


As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities.  Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request.

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