Regional airports top CAA’s report on accessibility

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has unveiled its annual report on accessibility services provided by the top 30 UK airports, with Norwich, Sumburgh, Southend, Doncaster and Liverpool John Lennon (LJLA) all ranking highly.

The report highlights that there are more than three million requests for assistance at UK airports annually – a rise of almost 80% since 2010.

The CAA assesses airports against a number of key measures to establish how well they are performing for disabled passengers. Declaring that it is “essential” that passengers with reduced mobility or hidden disabilities get the service they deserve every time they fly, Baroness Sugg, the UK’s Aviation Minister, said the “CAA has stepped up its work in this area and plays an important role in showing where improvement still needs to be made.”

Baroness Sugg added that she “welcomed the progress made by airports to improve accessibility and will continue to work with all of the aviation industry to make flying easier for disabled passengers.”

LJLA was one of 16 rated in the highest ‘very good’ category with the report stating that “Liverpool has had an excellent year, providing a very good level of assistance to its disabled passengers and those with reduced mobility.”

Southend, meanwhile, was rated the most accessible airport in London and the South East and the only airport representing the capital’s airports to be given a ‘very good’ rating.

Glyn Jones, CEO of Stobart Aviation, which owns London Southend Airport, said: “We want to make sure people enjoy travelling through our airport and it is an efficient and easily accessible experience, as we offer quick access to London and a wide range of European travel destinations, with our Dublin route also providing ongoing connectivity to the USA.”

The report also showed that significant progress has also been made by Heathrow Airport, which was classified as ‘good’ this year, up from last year’s rating of ‘poor’. However, some of the UK’s biggest airports – Birmingham, Gatwick and Stansted – were all ranked as ‘needing improvement’, and Manchester Airport received a ‘poor’ rating for the second year in a row. Issues were identified in relation to long waiting times for assistance and issues with recording and reporting of performance data.

Written by: Chloe Greenbank

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