“London Gatwick aims to be the UK’s most accessible airport, giving everybody an equal opportunity to fly. We will continue to work with charities and passenger groups to provide an accessible environment for all our customers and to deliver excellent support and service for those with both physical and hidden disabilities.”
Gatwick was the first airport to introduce a hidden disability lanyard scheme which has since been introduced by all UK, and several international, airports. The airport places a particular emphasis on training with all passenger-facing staff taught to recognise a range of hidden disabilities. To ensure consistent standards, Gatwick also offers this training free to airlines, ground handlers and other organisations across the airport campus. So far 2,200 staff have been trained to recognise and help people with dementia across 14 different businesses. Uniquely, staff at Gatwick’s special assistance provider are also trained to NVQ Level 2 & 3 in Passenger Services, including Disability Awareness.
Gatwick has also invested significantly in new facilities, including the UK’s first airport sensory room and a new £2 million ‘premium-style’ lounge for special assistance passengers. All new facilities and services are also designed in consultation with a range of disability and passenger groups.
Further, the airport has recently established a new Independent Gatwick Accessibility Panel of experts in the travel needs of disabled passengers and people with reduced mobility. Through this group, and through continued dialogue with a wide range of other partners, we aim to build on our recent success and continue to improve the services we provide for our disabled passengers.