East Anglian airports respond to rankings for disabled passenger services

Richard Pace, managing director at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Richard Pace, managing director at Norwich Airport. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Airports in the East have received mixed success in a report ranking the services for disabled people in airports across the UK.

Aerial view of Stansted Picture: STANSTED AIRPORT

Aerial view of Stansted Picture: STANSTED AIRPORT - Credit: Archant

Norwich Airport was ranked among the best in the country, receiving a 'very good' rating for its accessibility in the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) report.

But Stansted Airport did not fare as well, ranked as 'needing improvement' alongside Gatwick and Birmingham.

A total of 16 UK airports were rated 'very good' by the CAA, up from six in last year's review.

Its accessibility report highlighted that the number of requests made for assistance at UK airports every year has risen by almost 80% since 2010, to more than three million.

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The report said Norwich Airport, along with Humberside, had 'led the way' for smaller airports, demonstrating a 'consistently strong commitment to accessibility'.

Norwich Airport managing director Richard Pace said: 'We are proud to be leading the way as one of the UK's most accessible airports. We take this responsibility very seriously and the team at Norwich Airport works hard to ensure a smooth journey for all passengers, including delivering the highest level of service for disabled passengers.'

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At Stansted, a CAA audit raised questions over a 'transition' area introduced by the airport for passengers to wait after arriving on inbound flights. Waiting time targets are required for customers with reduced mobility in such areas, but the organisation said a lack of data had stopped it identifying whether passengers were being 'unduly delayed' at Stansted.

'The airport has told us that 40% of people who use the assistance service use these areas, but that the delays are short and that the fast tracking of disabled passengers at UK Border often allows time to be made up,' the report said.

A London Stansted spokesman said that in response to findings in last year's report the airport had set up a disability forum to improve engagement with disabled passengers, but said that there was 'more work to do'.

'London Stansted is committed to working closely with the CAA, Omniserve – our service provider – and all our on-site partners to ensure that passengers with disabilities are able to travel independently and confidently through the airport.'

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