The UK Civil Aviation Authority this morning published their new report looking at how UK airports support passengers with hidden disabilities, finding further work needs to be done to ensure all UK airports provide consistent and high-quality assistance services.
The report, looking at hidden disabilities including autism, hearing loss and dementia, follows the 2016 publication on improving assistance in airports. Latest updates note that a record number of people with various disabilities are flying and highlights progress made in ensuring the experience is smooth.
Developing services in the paper include; offering disabled people the option to wear a discreet identifier to allow staff to know when to offer extra assistance, airports providing disability awareness training, introducing assistance security lanes for a calmer environment, providing accessible information sources and consulting disability organisations to meet the needs of the disabled communities.
The report however, did recognise airports must do more to ensure quality and consistent assistance across all airports, noting it can be achieved by working in line with its policies.
CAA head of consumer protection, Matt Buffey, said: “Today’s report highlights the significant achievements that airports have made in supporting disabled passengers, particularly those with hidden disabilities. Record numbers of passengers with disabilities are travelling through UK airports, and so its hugely important that the assistance meets their particular needs.
“We know that people with hidden disabilities can find airports difficult and stressful places, in particular the security search, and we are pleased to see how well airports have responded in improving the assistance they offer and tailoring to the needs of people with hidden disabilities.
“The UK Civil Aviation Authority is committed to being a champion for consumers with disabilities and we will continue to work with the aviation industry to further enhance the facilities they provide.”