Wings for Autism Take off in Birmingham


Birmingham, AL – The Arc of Central Alabama will hold its fourth Wings for Autism® at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM). This event takes place on Saturday, February 16th from 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. thanks to The Arc of Central Alabama, the Birmingham Airport Authority, Southwest Airlines, the Transportation Security Administration, Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities, HMS Host, and the Hudson Group.

Wings for Autism® is a nation-wide airport “rehearsal” program specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, their families and aviation professionals. For parents of children with autism spectrum disorders, air travel can prove particularly challenging between waiting in lines along with loud noises and harsh lights.  Wings for Autism® helps to alleviate the stress children and their parents may feel by allowing families to have the opportunity to practice the flying experience from entering the airport to boarding a plane. The program also gives airline, TSA and other airport personnel the opportunity to observe, interact, and deliver their services in a structured, learning environment.

“It’s important to us that all passengers have an easy and convenient experience at BHM, said Sylvester Lavender, Birmingham Airport Authority’s Interim President and CEO. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with several great organizations as we continue to improve our service for passengers with autism and other developmental disabilities.”

More than 60 families from the Birmingham area will participate in this free experience. Upon arrival, event attendees will check-in to receive their boarding pass, go through security, have an opportunity to dine and shop at the airport concessions and be greeted at the gate, boarding the plane around 7:30 p.m. Each participant will bring one caregiver on board the aircraft. A reception at the gate will follow afterwards and give families an opportunity to celebrate a successful flight rehearsal.

For more information on the Wings for Autism® – Birmingham event, visit