Airports in the UK have shown “significant improvement” when it comes to their accessibility, but they will need to do more to meet more stringent standards in future.

A total of 31 airports were ranked by the CAA on accessibility for disabled passengers, with 14 rated as “very good” and 16 rated “good”.

Five of the airports saw their rating improved but four bases had their classification lowered.


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No airports were rated as “poor” for the first tine since reporting began.

The results were published in the CAA’s fourth annual report on the disability access of the UK’s largest airports.

In the last year there were a record number of 3.7 million requests for assistance at airports – a rise of more than 80% since 2010.

Manchester airport was classified as “needing improvement”, although this was an improved rating from “poor” in the previous two years.

The CAA said it expects Manchester to take “immediate action to reverse a recent decline in performance since the end of this reporting year in time for the next accessibility reviews”.

The report showed nearly a quarter of disabled and less mobile passengers said they requested assistance because the airport environment was becoming more difficult to navigate.

This will be the last year that the accessibility framework will use the current criteria. Since April this year, airports have been assessed using stricter targets, meaning airports will need to further improve in order to retain or improve their classifications going forward.

Paul Smith, consumers and markets director at the CAA, said: “These results show significant improvements to the experience many disabled passengers faced before our reporting began. We hope this will help passengers to feel confident and empowered to travel from UK airports.

“While it is good to see the general improvements, airports will need to continue to work hard to improve, so that they are able to meet the more demanding performance standards that we have now introduced. Where we see examples of bad practice, we will not hesitate to hold airports to account and take the necessary action.”

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