RCA airports achieve gold standard for disability access

community

Norwich and Exeter Airports have retained the highest possible rating for disability access, having been judged ‘very good’ in an independent annual survey, and one of only two UK airports to achieve the accolade four years running.

NORWICH & EXETER AIRPORT

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has published its fourth annual report on the disability access of the UK’s largest airports.

Norwich and Exeter were among 14 airports rated ‘very good’, with a further 16 airports rated ‘good’. For the first time since the accessibility framework’s introduction in 2016, no airports were classified as ‘poor’.

To achieve a ‘very good’ classification, airports must provide high quality support on the day of travel as well as keeping in regular contact and consultation with its users.

Norwich Airport provides assistance to more than 7,000 passengers a year, which is an increase of 58% in four years. It works closely with local groups including Age UK Norwich, Assist Trust, Autism Anglia and Home Instead Senior Care to enhance the experience of people with reduced mobility.

Richard Pace, managing director of Norwich Airport, said: “We are delighted to be in the top tier of UK airports and to have achieved the gold standard for the quality of service that we provide to disabled and less mobile passengers. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff and we are committed to providing the best possible experience for anyone in the community who requires assistance when travelling.”

Exeter Airport provides assistance to more than 20,000 passengers a year. This is set to increase as overall passenger numbers are expected to break the one million mark this year with the introduction of new routes by Ryanair to Alicante, Malaga, Malta and Naples.

Matt Roach, managing director of Exeter Airport, added: “We are delighted to be in the top tier of UK airports and to have achieved the gold standard for the quality of service that we provide to disabled and less mobile passengers. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff, and we are committed to providing the best possible experience for anyone in the community who requires assistance when travelling.”

The CAA said in total, there were a record number of 3.7 million requests for assistance at UK airports in the latest year – a rise of over 80 per cent since 2010.

Paul Smith, Consumers and Markets Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “These results show significant improvements to the experience many disabled passengers faced before our reporting began. We hope this will help passengers to feel confident and empowered to travel from UK airports.”