MUMBAI: For some kids, an airport is a fun place where there is ample space to run around, watch aircraft come and go, buy candy and generally be the focus of public attention. For others, especially those boarding flights late at night, it could be a horrible place where everyone is forced to spend time before being allowed to board the aircraft and sleep. But boarding a late-night international flight from Mumbai airport got a tad bearable for kids after a play zone came up in the food court of the international section of Terminal 2 a few months ago.

“Children in the age group of 2-12 years can avail this complimentary facility located on level 4 in T2. Keeping the creative skills of a child in mind, the play area is designed on the theme of Jungle Safari and in keeping with safety measures, designs, materials and equipment placed in the play area are 100% child friendly,” said a Mumbai International Private Limited spokesperson. “It’s more of an educational zone with plenty of fun activities and game which can be accessed by kids and their parents any time, day or night,” the official said, adding MIAL had partnered with Rainbow Preschool as they had experience in the field of education. “The play zone will have two ECCD (Early Childhood Care and Development Program) personnel at all times,” the official said.

Keeping kids occupied is serious business in the world of airports. A number of airports around the world have play areas and many do activities around aviation. Boston Logan International, for instance, has a Kidport, with educational exhibits like an airplane structure for climbing, a baggage conveyor belt and a replica of the Boston air traffic control tower. Las Vegas Mc Carren airport has an air traffic control tower for kids in the play area. Chicago O’Hare has an interactive exhibit with an air traffic control tower, a rigged-up helicopter, cargo plane, luggage station etc. The best though is at Forth Worth, Dallas, which has three junior flying clubs, complete with a small runway, roadway, aircraft, and a control tower.

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Source: TOI-MUM