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Helping people with hidden disabilities

As part of our commitment to helping all members of the community, we’re proud to participate in the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Scheme.

We’ve put all the information you need to know about wearing a sunflower lanyard, as well as the support and facilities available at the airport, together in one place.

Positive recognition

The sunflower is a globally recognised symbol for non-visible disabilities. These include disabilities that aren’t immediately obvious – things like autism, chronic pain, mental health conditions, mobility issues or speech, vision and hearing loss. These invisible impairments may be hard to spot, but they can still have a big impact on daily life.

You can learn more about hidden disabilities here.

Why wear a sunflower lanyard?

Wearing a sunflower lanyard lets our staff know you may need a little extra help and support when you’re with us.

Sunflower lanyards are easy to request and available free of charge. Plus, they look pretty neat too!

Please bear in mind that a sunflower lanyard won’t get you through queues faster or provide a personal escort or wheelchair through the airport. If you require a wheelchair or special assistance, please contact your airline directly.

Requesting your sunflower lanyard

To request a sunflower lanyard for yourself or someone you’re travelling with, simply email

If your trip is more than two weeks away, we can free-post your lanyard to you. Alternatively, you can pick up your lanyard from the Airport Services office between 9:30am – 4:30pm Monday to Friday.

We’ve put together a guide to help you find it.

Christchurch Airport is also a proud supporter of the Hāpai Access Card. The Hāpai Access Card is acknowledged at the airport in the same way as the sunflower lanyard and lets our staff know you may need extra help and support. The Hāpai Access Card can be worn instead of, or as well as a sunflower lanyard.

The Hāpai Access Card can only be issued by the foundation. For more information please visit their website here

Visual guides to your airport experience

We understand that navigating the airport can be more challenging for people with hidden (or not-so-hidden) disabilities. We’ve put together the following guides to help you get ready for your trip. They contain important information about airport procedures and let you know what to expect.

Facilities at the airport

Toilets, showers and parent rooms

All toilet areas throughout the terminal have mobility access.

Lower sensory bathrooms are available in both Check-in and Domestic Departures. These bathrooms have softer lighting and colours, and no hand dryers or automatic flush.

Parent rooms equipped with changing facilities are located throughout the terminal.

Showers are available in Check-in, International Departures and International Arrivals (you will need to provide your own toiletries).

Doors and lifts

Our airport doors are automatic and wide enough for wheelchair access.

Automatic lifts provide access to all levels of the terminal.

Special assistance and wheelchair use

If you require special assistance or the use of a wheelchair while at the airport, please contact your airline

Accessible parking

If you need mobility parking at the airport, we have a range of options to suit your needs. Please note that standard parking charges apply and be sure to put your mobility parking permit on display. 

If you have any questions about mobility parking, email us at

Quiet spaces

There is a quiet seating area set up for sunflower lanyard wearers to use in International Departures. The space has open seating and is away from the main seating and shopping area.

As you come out of Aelia Duty Free, you will find the space to your left, shown on the map below. 

A quiet pod is available for sunflower lanyard wearers to use. The pod is well ventilated with great acoustic properties, making it a comfortable and quiet place to rest before your flight.

You'll find the quiet pod in Domestic Departures after you’ve gone through security screening.

Extra special help

P.A.W.S programme

We're delighted to provide a team of furry helpers, in the form of pet therapy dogs. These four-legged friends are available in the terminal during peak periods, ready to help calm nervous travellers. Click here to find out when they’re visiting.

Travelling with children

When you’re managing little ones at the airport, a little extra planning and preparation can go a long way. We’ve put all the information you need to know about travelling with children or babies together here.

We also offer a free kids activity book and pack of pencils. You can pick this up at an airport information desk.