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The Civil Aviation Authority has published its fourth annual report on the disability access of the UK’s 31 largest airports, highlighting the most and least accessible airports for disabled people.

In total, there were a record number of 3.7 million requests for assistance at UK airports in the latest year – a rise of over 80 percent since 2010.

The Civil Aviation Authority’s accessibility report reveals that 14 airports have been rated ‘very good’ and a further 16 airports were rated ‘good’.

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To achieve a ‘very good’ classification, airports most provide high quality support on the day of travel as well as keeping in regular contact and consultation with its users. Amongst the airports that received a ‘very good’ status were Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Norwich and Southampton.

Four airports that were classified as ‘very good’ last year received ‘good’ ratings this year, while Manchester Airport was classified as ‘needing improvement’ – although this was an improved rating from ‘poor’ in the previous two years.

Although, perhaps the most important statistic from the report is that for the first time since the framework’s introduction in 2016, no airports were classified as ‘poor’.

The report highlights room for improvement, with research showing that nearly a quarter of disabled and less mobile passengers said they requested assistance because the airport environment was becoming more difficult to navigate.

The Civil Aviation Authority will work closely with airports to improve accessibility for disabled passengers.

Since April this year, airports have been assessed using stricter targets to improve the passenger experience and create a more seamless journey. Airports will need to further improve in order to retain or improve their classifications going forward, notes the Civil Aviation Authority.

Paul Smith, Consumers and Markets Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, 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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