• More airport provision for disabilities and special needs

    New proposed measures from the Government’s upcoming aviation strategy consultation will support passengers with disabilities and special needs, along with ensuring improvements designed to enhance customer’s overall experience within airports.

    Aviation Minister Liz Snugg outlined the proposed measures during a trip to Gatwick airport, with the consultation proposing the creation of a new ‘passenger charter’ to be adopted by airlines and airports, backed by the Government.

    The charter aims to promote best practice and create a shared agreement between the Government and industry of then required service levels for passengers, with a major focus on improving the flying experience for passengers with disabilities, detailing the amount of assistance that should be provided to people travelling to and from airports with reduced mobility and hidden disabilities.

    Measures include:

    • Strengthening accessibility standards for airports and introduce new standards for airlines
    • Ensuring better training for airport and airline employees
    • Raising awareness among disabled passengers of their rights to assistance and how to obtain it
    • Improving storage standards for wheelchairs and waiving limits for compensation payments
    • Working with industry to achieve the long term goal of passengers being able to fly in their own air-worthy wheelchairs

    Discussing the measures, Snugg said: “Our fantastic aviation industry connects passengers to destinations across the world with some of the best fares available.

    “But we are determined to work with industry to continue to drive up service levels and the new passenger charter aims to improve the experience of all passengers when they fly.”

    Responding to the proposed measures, Accessibility Minister, Nusrat Ghani, said: “We need to address the fact that 57% of disabled passengers say they find flying and using airports difficult. That’s why our proposed passenger charter includes measures designed to make real changes that will improve the accessibility of flying, building on the ambitions set out in our Inclusive Transport Strategy earlier this year.

    “We are committed to continuing the progress the industry has already made in making the aviation network truly open to all.”

    AUTHOR

    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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