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Autism Aviators

Autism Aviators is a partnership with Nova Scotia's two commercial airports, the Halifax Stanfield International Airport and the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport. Through his partnership, we are able to provide resources to help prepare autistic children and youth and their families for air travel.

Ages/Life Stage:

Children, youth, and their families or caregivers


In 2016, Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) approached Autism Nova Scotia to discuss programming for autistic children and youth.

Air travel, for many people, can be stressful however for some autistic individuals it can be very unpredictable and/or overwhelming. Autism Nova Scotia worked with HIAA to help them learn how the various steps and stages of air travel can have negative impacts on Autistic individuals. Together, we developed Autism Aviators to help ease some of these stressors for Autistic travellers and their families.

The goal of the program is to make travel truly inclusive and accessible. Knowing that for many autistic children, youth and adults, routine and structure is crucial, Autism Aviators shows each step of air travel – from preparing to go to the airport, checking in, going through security and finally, boarding the plane. In addition to a walk-through of the airport experience, resource materials are also made available to help families familiarize with air travel.

This program is intended to be offered at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport once per year. It was not possible to offer the program since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however Autism Aviators will return in fall 2023 in partnership once again with the Halifax International Airport Authority.

Because of the success and level of interest in the program, Autism Nova Scotia has received an expression of interest from the JA Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport to offer Autism Aviators at their location. Information will be shared when available.


Jill Cormier, Inclusion & Family Support Coordinator

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