Indonesian airport's plan to end boarding calls protested

Indonesian airport's plan to end boarding calls protested
Juanda International Airport Terminal in Sidoarjo, East Java.

INDONESIA - A group of blind people has sent a letter of protest to PT Angkasa Pura I, the manager of Juanda International Airport in Sidoarjo, East Java, after it announced a plan to replace boarding calls with running text on monitors and time countdowns for flight departures in order to reduce noise inside the terminal building.

"We have also sent a similar letter to the Transportation Ministry to protest this discrimination. Services for disabled people, especially blind people, are still horrible in all airports, including Juanda," Fathul Arief, spokesperson for the East Java Disabled Advocacy Network, told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

Juanda airport, winner of the Best Airport of the Year award from the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry in 2011, intends to implement the plan on June 1, unless it is deemed as violating the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which has been ratified by Indonesia through Law No. 19/2011 on CRPD.

Fathul said that his group, due to its demands for equal treatment, also rejected the airport's plan to build a special waiting room for blind people.

Trikora Harjo, general manager for PT Angkasa Pura I, said Juanda airport had adopted a similar policy to one implemented at Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea, in order to ensure passenger comfort by reducing noise.

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