The Civil Aviation Authority has published its annual report on accessibility services provided by the UK’s top 30 airports, with Manchester receiving a ‘poor’ rating for the second year running.
Manchester was the only airport to receive the rating this year, although Birmingham, Gatwick and Stansted were all rated as “needing improvement”.
Commenting on Manchester airport’s rating, the CAA said that it had “identified issues in relation to long waiting times for assistance at the airport and issues with the recording and reporting of performance data”.
However the authority said that “having raised these issues with senior management at Manchester earlier in the reporting year, the airport has acted swiftly to address them”, adding that “In relation to waiting times for assistance, the airport worked with its airlines to release extra funds to allow OCS, its service provider, to make more staff available at peak times”.
The report revealed that 16 of the UK’s top 30 airports are now rated as “very good”, up from just six last year, and praised Edinburgh – which has moved from a ‘poor’ rating to ‘very good’ in two years, and Heathrow, which has moved from ‘poor’ to ‘good’ over the last year.
The CAA said that for the three airports rated as ‘needs improvement’, “we have not received sufficient information about the standard of assistance at these airports to classify them as ‘good’ or better”.
The authority added that in the case of Stansted “we have concerns about potential delays to passengers’ journeys on arrival from inbound flights”.
The report said that in general accessibility satisfaction levels remained high at UK airports, with 83 per cent of travellers requiring assistance stating that they are “satisfied”, and over half of those being “very satisfied”.
Commenting on the report Paul Smith, Consumers and Markets Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:
“We are pleased that surveys show that satisfaction levels remain high and the vast majority of passengers’ journeys go smoothly. The improved performance of many airports means disabled passengers should have even more confidence to travel from UK airports.
“However, there are still too many occasions where things go wrong. We will continue to focus our work on ensuring that standards are maintained and improved, particularly for those whose experience has not been as positive as it could have been. Where we see examples of bad practice, we will not hesitate to hold airports to account and take the necessary enforcement action.”