Stansted Airport celebrates new check-in system as access for disabled passengers is rated 'good'
Stansted Airport's provision for disabled passengers has been upgraded to 'good' in the latest Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) accessibility report.
The new, higher rating is recognition of the improvements and investments made after last year's verdict that improvement was required.
They include a complete overhaul of the arrivals route for passengers requiring assistance, new toilet facilities and lift and a direct corridor to immigration which means passengers now enjoy a more pleasant, arrival into and through the terminal.
These are in addition to a host of other initiatives including Changing Places toilet facilities for the disabled both airside and landside, Airport Awareness lanyards to indicate to staff that a passenger may require assistance due to a hidden disability and the Special Flyer Autism Awareness Scheme.
Stansted also works closely with the Alzheimers Society and has already successfully trained more than 400 staff as Dementia Friends.
Anne Wafula Strike, a Paralympian, inclusion campaigner and member of Stansted's Disability Forum, said: "London Stansted is an airport I frequently use and it knows that access and inclusion is the right thing to do and I am pleased to see the improvements that have been achieved through dedication and a spirit of listening to disabled people. I hope other airports will follow this positive example and make it a business imperative."
Chief operating officer Steve Griffiths said: "In the last year we have worked closely with our airline partners and our service provider, Omniserv, to make many improvements. 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."
All passengers are benefitting from a new and improved check-in area as part of the airport's ongoing transformation project.
Eight new check-in desks opened at 5am on Thursday, July 11 with passengers travelling with TUI to Heraklion in Crete the first to use them.
Paul Willis, business change director, said: "The desks are in a 'shoreline' configuration which means that when passengers enter the terminal the new desks will be directly in front of them. We've also installed new white to black floor tiles surrounding the check-in zone which subtly helps passengers navigate where they need to go.
"The new layout will give passengers a more intuitive and easier journey through the airport and provide more flexibility to allow us to accommodate new airlines in the future."
It takes the number of check-in desks opened as part of Stansted's transformation project to 20.
The next phase of the project will see a further eight desks open in the autumn.