Fort Wayne International Airport
Airport Authority


Wings for Autism Returning to Fort Wayne

Wings for Autism Returning to Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne, Ind. Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana, Fort Wayne International Airport, and Allegiant will present Wings for Autism® on April 28, 2018.

The event is an airport “rehearsal” specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families. Participants will practice entering the airport, obtaining boarding passes, going through security, and boarding a plane. The plane will not taxi or take off.

 “There are so many aspects of air travel that are outside of our normal routines” said Donna Elbrecht, Easterseals Arc president and CEO. “Wings for Autism offers an opportunity to learn about what to expect—from checking in to security to boarding a plane—and that can help reduce anxiety.”

The event is free to participants, however advance registration at is required due to security policies and limited seated on the plane.

About 100 people participated in Fort Wayne’s first Wings for Autism in February 2017. Feedback was extremely positive, and the organizers are looking forward to this year’s event.

 “FWA is proud to be hosting Wings for Autism for the second year in a row along with Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana and Allegiant. This is a true community event, and the airport is happy to welcome these families to the airport to make their future travel experiences as smooth and enjoyable as possible,” said Scott Hinderman, executive director of airports.

Allegiant participates in numerous Wings for Autism events throughout the country each year.

"We're excited to help host another Wings for Autism event in Fort Wayne," said Scott Sheldon, Allegiant executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer. "As a company, we are passionate about making air travel accessible to everyone—whether through affordable airfare, convenient service from your local airport, or through training events like this one, which help our travelers on the autism spectrum alleviate some of the stress that comes with flying."

Lutheran Children’s Hospital, Fort Wayne Autism Center, and Northeast Indiana Autism Connection also have provided assistance with planning the event.

Wings for Autism® is a program of The Arc developed in 2010 by The Charles River Center (a chapter of The Arc) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Port Authority, the Transportation Security Administration and several air carriers based at Boston Logan Airport.

The experience of air travel can be difficult for many people with autism and aviation personnel supporting these passengers. Rehearsing many aspects of air travel through Wings for Autism® helps reduce anxiety and overcome many challenges faced by people with autism and other intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Wings for Autism®

What: Wings for Autism® is an airport “rehearsal” for individuals with autism and their families

Who: The event is presented by Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana, Fort Wayne International Airport, and Allegiant Air and sponsored by Lutheran Children’s Hospital and Fort Wayne Autism Center.

When: Saturday, April 28, 2018. Check-in begins at 3 p.m.

Where: Fort Wayne International Airport

Registration: The event is free, however advance registration is required at

About Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana: Nationally, Easterseals changes the way the world defines and views disability by making profound, positive differences in people’s lives every day. Locally, Easterseals Arc carries out that purpose by helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities succeed at home, at work, and at play. Easterseals Arc offers a broad range of services including employment services, day programs, residential services, recreation, respite, and support in the community and at home.

About Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA) was created in 1985 and is responsible for managing the Fort Wayne International Airport and Smith Field Airport. The airport authority is governed by a six-member board appointed by the Mayor of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Commissioners. Serving northeast Indiana and the surrounding region, FWA offers nonstop service to 14 cities on four airlines. In 2019, FWA served 791,810 passengers –the tenth year of consecutive growth. As a result of FWACAA’s commitment to customer service, Fort Wayne International Airport was recognized by USA Today as one of the friendliest airports in the nation. For more information about the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, visit

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