Civil Aviation Authority assessed the UK’s 30 busiest airports between April 2016 and March 2017 with ratings of ‘very good’, ‘good’ and ‘poor’ with four including Manchester put in the worst category. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) has been rated ‘good’ for the quality of assistance it offers to disabled passengers – with Manchester Airport rated as poor.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) assessed the UK’s 30 busiest airports between April 2016 and March 2017.
All were rated as either ‘very good’, ‘good’ or ‘poor’. Two-thirds of the airports achieved a good rating, including Liverpool.
Birmingham, Prestwick, Glasgow, Humberside, Inverness and Norwich were rated very good but East Midlands, Exeter, Manchester and Heathrow were rated poor.
The CAA’s framework is the first of its kind in Europe and was introduced to ensure there is a consistent and high quality service for disabled passengers across UK airports.
The report shows that the number of people with a disability requesting extra help when travelling by air continues to grow significantly at UK airports, reaching more than 3m journeys in 2016 – up 66% since 2010.
Omniserv provides the special assistance service at LJLA and the report shows that they and the airport company have performed well in areas such as customer satisfaction, waiting times and engagement with disability organisations.
LJLA has particularly focused on the needs of those passengers who are often deterred from travelling by air due to a range of disabilities.
“While well established procedures are in place at all airports to assist passengers with reduced mobility, LJLA believes more could be done.
After working with a number of “hidden disability” organisations, including, Autism Together, Liverpool Dementia Action Alliance, Stomawise and The Brain Charity, new procedures have been put in place along with staff training and familiarisation visits.
Lisa Crosby, contracts co-ordinator for the airport, which oversees the Omniserv contract, said: “We are naturally really pleased that the experience of those passengers who require assistance when passing through the airport is a good one and that work undertaken with a number of disability groups is paying off.”