UK airports need to comply with EU legislation to provide assistance to disabled persons and those with reduced mobility.
This section provides information on legal requirements and the CAA’s enforcement powers. It also includes information about passenger rights during flight disruption.
The obligation to assist passengers falls on airlines, but airports need to be aware of what passengers are entitled to during periods of disruption.
Interpretative Guidelines have been published to clarify the existing rules and facilitate their application on assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights.
We have issued guidance on our approach to enforcing consumer law. The guidance aims to inform our stakeholders, (businesses and their advisers, consumers, consumer groups, and other interested parties) on how we will use our consumer powers.
- Guidance on Consumer Enforcement (March 2016)
We have also published prioritisation principles that explain our approach in deciding what is the most important work to do in the areas of consumer protection, competition law and economic regulation.
Regulation (EU) No 1107/2006 as retained (and amended in UK domestic law) under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018
The CAA is responsible for compliance and enforcement with the law providing rights to disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility. View the text of the legislation and “Interpretative guidelines” on application of the Regulation. The legislation is enacted in the UK through The Civil Aviation (Access to Air Travel for Disabled Persons and Persons with Reduced Mobility) Regulations 2014.
The CAA has published guidance for airports on setting, publishing and monitoring Quality Standards under the Regulation.
What the legislation covers
The legislation places obligations on airports and airlines to provide access to air travel for PRMs, subject to some safety and security issues.
These include obligations on:
- to provide assistance throughout the passenger journey at the airport
- to set, publish and monitor “quality standards” on service performance
- to train customer facing staff
- to charge airlines for provision of the service
- to provide assistance on board aircraft
- to train customer facing staff
- to provide information to PRMs on any safety or security restrictions which might affect a person's ability to travel
- to transport medical and mobility equipment
Section 85 of the Civil Aviation Act 2012
Under Section 85 of the Civil Aviation Act 2012 airports and airlines are required to “publish information for the benefit” of passengers. The CAA requires airlines and airports to publish key information relevant to passengers with reduced mobility on their websites.
This subject areas for the information have been specified by the CAA and should be presented on a single webpage one click away from the home page of the website or on webpages directly accessible from a single 'landing' webpage one click away from the home page. The information should be presented in a clear and easy to understand way and the design of websites should take into consideration existing international guidelines on website accessibility.
Airport performance reports
We publish annual report on how UK airports have performed in terms of the quality of assistance provided to less mobile passengers.
We have issued additional guidance on operational aspects in regard to providing assistance to disabled and less mobile passengers at UK airports. You can view the additional guidance on the assistance service at UK airports for more information.
Guidance on consumer law for airlines
You can visit our guidance on consumer law for airlines page for more information.
The CAA has recently consulted on guidance for airports on providing help and assistance to people with "hidden" disabilities such as autism, dementia, mental health issues and hearing loss. The resulting guidance (CAP1411) sets out the obligations on airports under Regulation EC1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled people and people with reduced mobility.
Directory of hidden disability organisations
This list includes only organisations that have worked with us in improving access to aviation for disabled people, it is not exhaustive. Please contact the CAA via the general enquiries form.