Highest possible rating for disability assistance service

London Stansted has received the highest rating from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for the level of service it provides to disabled people and passengers with reduced mobility.

The industry regulator has upgraded the airport from ‘good’ to ‘very good’ for the significant improvements it has made in the quality of its assistance service.

The CAA's Airport Accessibility Report assesses 26 of the largest UK airports and details how they provide access to passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility.

Anita Harrison, London Stansted’s Customer Operations Director, said:

“We are delighted to receive the highest possible rating from the CAA - a rating that reflects the work that we’ve done to provide an inclusive experience for all our passengers through investment in infrastructure, equipment, and staff.

“Every passenger, regardless of any disabilities or assistance requirements, should be able to travel confidently, easily and conveniently through the airport and enjoy both our facilities as well as the wide variety of destinations we have to offer.

“In the last 12 months, we have worked closely with our airline partners and the service provider to bring several improvements to our service.

“Through continuous engagement and collaboration with members of our Disability Forum we have achieved a clear focus on the issues that really matter to passengers that require additional assistance and support.

“The airport is committed to ensuring that all passengers with reduced mobility and hidden disabilities receive the best possible experience every time they travel through our airport.

“We also acknowledge that achieving that standard is an ongoing process as we strive to improve even further in the future.”

Several improvements were made to the service over the last year, contributing to the airport's 'very good' rating. 

Improvements include:

·         Providing better connectivity at passenger help points by installing the latest technology.

·         Joining AccessAble for airport navigation assistance.

·         Enhancing the wayfinding throughout the terminal by using purple pathways and lift wraps.

·         Increasing the fleet of specialist Ambulift vehicles from eight to twelve this summer, becoming the UK's largest operator.

·         Opening of a special assistance waiting area in the departure lounge.

·         Working together with the service provider ABM, to recruit and train the appropriate number of team members in time for peak season.

·         Teaming up with with SignLive to offer deaf or hard of hearing passengers the opportunity to communicate via British Sign Language (BSL) when using and contacting the airport.

Along with these recent improvements, the airport has also implemented several other initiatives, including Changing Places facilities both airside and landside, Airport Awareness lanyards to indicate to staff that a passenger may need assistance because of a hidden disability, and its Autism Awareness Special Flyer Scheme.

It also works closely with the Alzheimer’s Society and has successfully trained more than 1,000 staff as Dementia Friends.