MSP Airport opens the Travel Confidently MSP training center
The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) has unveiled the Travel Confidently MSP Education Center in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) on Monday, May 23. This one-of-a-kind facility features a mock-up aircraft cabin installed inside Terminal 1 to support airport and public safety training and serve airport programs that help build the confidence of travelers through pre-flight experiences.
“This unique facility will be a hallmark for MSP’s programs that support fair and inclusive travel,” said Brian Ryks, MAC Executive Director and CEO. “Thanks to a generous donation from Delta Air Lines, we can provide a realistic training environment without the use of an actual aircraft, which will build confidence in air travel for more people in our community.”
The Travel Confidently MSP Education Center will serve several purposes, including enhancing the Navigating MSP program, which provides travelers with sensory, physical, or cognitive disabilities, or those afraid of flying, a place to practice boarding and gives assistance dogs the ability to familiarize themselves with the environment of an airplane cabin. It will also allow airport public safety professionals and airline support teams to further train themselves in a realistic setting.
“We are always looking for ways to increase fairness in travel,” said CMA President Rick King. “It’s easy to take air travel for granted, but for many it presents unique challenges and requires different resources. The Travel Confidently MSP Education Center is one more way to provide resources to the community and reduce barriers to flying for as many people as possible.
The new space includes a 33-foot-long mock aircraft cabin that was previously used to train Delta’s in-flight crews in Atlanta, Georgia. Components of the old training cabin and 42 seats from a retired Boeing 737 were shipped to MSP and reassembled in its new space, near Gate C16. Airport Foundation MSP was another key MAC partner on the project.
“We are grateful for our continued partnership with the MAC and the Airport Foundation MSP, which have strengthened Delta’s efforts to create a more inclusive and accessible world for all,” said Mary Loeffelholz, Vice President of Operations, Delta Air Lines. at MSP. Airport. “Giving back to our community is deeply rooted in Delta’s beliefs and values, and through the work of our employees, we look forward to the ways this facility will impact the MSP community.”
The [email protected] program, a joint program of MAC and the Airport Foundation MSP, facilitated a community project to enhance the visual experience of the new center. Young local artists from Minneapolis-based Juxtaposition Arts – Ethan Nevalainen, Athena Ali, Greta Kotz and Taylan De Johnette – created the artwork outside the plane and additional artwork throughout the center. Collectively titled “Equanimity”, the work creates a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere for users of the space.