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25 Oct 2023

Special assistance

At Christchurch Airport we want all travellers to experience the joy of travel. We have a wide range of support strategies in place to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, stage, ability or anything else, can make their way through our airport with ease.

Last October we introduced our Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Scheme, to support travellers with disabilities that are a little harder to see. The scheme has had a huge uptake and we’re stoked to have given out almost 1,000 lanyards in the first year!

This October, we wanted to celebrate this achievement and remind travellers of all the ways we can help make your journey with us easier.

Take a look below at our handy tips, links and advice for each stage of your airport experience.

Before you arrive

Sunflower lanyards

Do you have a hidden disability? Sometimes getting the help you need can be easier when others know. We encourage you to request a free sunflower lanyard, so our staff can recognise that you may need extra assistance without you asking for it. Plus, it looks pretty neat too! Read more on our hidden disabilities page, or request your lanyard by emailing

Hāpai Access Card

We're also proud to support the Hāpai Access Card. This card is acknowledged at the airport in the same way as the sunflower lanyard and lets our staff know you may need extra support. The Hāpai Access Card can be worn instead of, or as well as, a sunflower lanyard.

Visual guides

As part of our Hidden Disabilities scheme we’ve created some really helpful visual guides. These explain everything you’ll need to do at the airport before you arrive, so you know exactly what to expect while you’re here. We get tonnes of feedback about how helpful these guides are, so we can’t recommend them highly enough! Take a look:

Domestic Departures – Gates 2-15 Guide

Domestic Departures – Gates 16-22a Guide

International Departures Guide

Airline assistance

When planning your journey, it’s a good idea to let your airline know about any special assistance you might require. Our airline information page contains contact details for all the airlines that fly through our airport. Go ahead and let them know, so they can help you out.

Getting to the airport

Getting picked up or dropped off at the airport can seem daunting, but there’s no need to worry. We have dedicated mobility parks in every airport parking lot, as well as the pick-up and drop-off area. For more information about mobility parking and a handy map, head to our mobility parking page.

While you’re here

Need help?

Our Airport Ambassadors are always here to help. These friendly volunteers are dedicated to helping passengers and are the perfect people to seek out if you need special assistance. You can find them at our ground floor information desks every day from 8am - 4pm.

Security screening

If you’re boarding a flight, you’ll need to go through security. Security staff recognise the sunflower lanyard, so if you’re wearing one they’ll be aware you have a hidden disability. It’s a good idea to know what to expect at security before you travel. Click on the ‘Security screening’ tab on our before you fly page, or see more detailed information on the AvSec website.

P.A.W.S programme

In 2021 we welcomed some furry four-legged helpers to relax travellers. Our P.A.W.S programme (Pups Assisting With Stress) features Hato Hone St John therapy dogs and their handlers. Visitors are invited to spend time with the pups to de-stress. If this is something you think you’d enjoy, check our canine pals’ schedule on our events page.

Quiet spaces

If you need some time out, we have two quiet spaces for sunflower lanyard wearers. One is a quiet seating area located in International Departures, just on your left as you come out of Aelia Duty Free. The other is a ‘quiet pod’, located in Domestic Departures just after security. The pod is a comfortable place to rest before your flight.

WiFi assisted hearing

To make sure you don’t miss any announcements, you can download the WaveCAST Audio Receiver app. This app plays airport announcements on your WiFi connected mobile or tablet. Head here to learn more or download the app.

After your visit

We always love to hear what people think of their experience at Christchurch Airport. If you have anything to share – good or bad – please let us know so we can continue to improve. You can fill out our general feedback form or share feedback specific to your sunflower lanyard or Hāpai Access Card via our Hidden Disabilities feedback form.

Wherever your travels take you, we hope you enjoy your time here at Christchurch Airport. We strive to provide a safe and stress-free experience so that everyone can enjoy the excitement of travel.

PS. Speaking of sunflowers, did you know that the head of a sunflower is actually made up of a thousand tiny flowers? It’s no wonder this flower was chosen to represent such a positive world-wide initiative.🌻