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13 Jul 2018

BY James Chapple

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Four UK airports still failing disabled passengers, CAA finds

Four of the UK’s biggest airports are still failing to cater adequately for disabled passengers, the CAA has said.

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Four UK airports still failing disabled passengers, CAA finds

Birmingham, Gatwick and Stansted airports have still not met CAA expectations for accessibility services and have been told they must make urgent improvements.


Manchester airport, meanwhile, comes bottom of the pile, rated “poor” for the second year in succession.


The CAA’s second annual accessibility report, published on Friday (July 13), takes an in-depth look at provision across the UK’s top 30 airports.


Some 16 airports have been ranked “very good”, up from just six last year, including Edinburgh airport which was rated “poor” last year.


Similar progress has been made at Heathrow, which improves from “poor” to “good” following £23 million investment in assistance services.


According to the CAA, there are now more than three million access assistance requests annually, an increase of nearly 80% on 2010 - making it imperative airports disabled friendly.


Paul Smith, CAA consumers and markets director, said: “We’re pleased surveys show satisfaction levels remain high and the vast majority of passengers’ journeys go smoothly. The improved performance of many airports means disabled passengers should have even more confidence to travel from UK airports.


“However, there are still too many occasions where things go wrong. We will continue to focus our work on ensuring that standards are maintained and improved, particularly for those whose experience has not been as positive as it could have been. Where we see examples of bad practice, we will not hesitate to hold airports to account and take the necessary enforcement action.”


Aviation minister Baroness Sugg added airports must give equal, consistent consideration to those passengers with reduced mobility or hidden disabilities every time they fly.


Birmingham, Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester have all pledged to make improvements, according to the report.

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