Promoting greater accessibility to flying for people with reduced mobility and increased awareness for those with hidden disabilities are just two ways the UK Civil Aviation Authority plays its part in supporting air passengers who need some assistance.
Our work has a truly international dimension, so it's right we fully back the United Nation's annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities today (Monday 3 December 2018).
The number of people asking for assistance at our airports has been steadily rising with more than three million making such a request last year.
And we're also the first aviation regulator in the world to put in place a framework which reports on the progress made by airports and airlines on what they need to offer to people who may find the flying experience very difficult or daunting.
The framework ensures people with accessibility needs are entitled to:
- help moving around the airport - in a seamless and timely manner
- to be treated with dignity and respect
This year, we have also updated our guidance for frontline staff to help identify more easily people with hidden disabilities who may otherwise go unnoticed, such as those who may be hard of hearing, suffer dementia or are autistic.
In preparing these guidelines, the CAA met with several accessibility organisations which work closely with the communities the framework is designed to support.
We will continue to monitor the compliance of the aviation industry's obligations and look forward to reporting back positively on International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 2019.