Glasgow Prestwick Airport host morning for people with sensory impairments

Friday 21 October, 13:48 Europe/London

Glasgow Prestwick Airport hosted a morning for people with sensory impairments from all over Ayrshire to show them our facilities and get feedback on how to improve our services.

The group and some guide dogs were welcomed for some breakfast and refreshments.  After meeting the airport representatives and hearing the itinerary, they made their way into the main terminal where they were split into three groups and escorted around the airport.

 

Prestwick Airport Disability Access Day.

 

The groups were lead by staff from Passenger Handling, Security and Ground Services who were able to give information about all aspects of the airport.

The purpose of this event was to give our visitors a real passenger experience from Checkin, through Central Search and finally into our Departure Lounge, where they would then take the last leg of their journey as if they were boarding an aircraft.

 

Prestwick Airport Disability Access Day. The group has the baggage check in process explained to them.

 

They were also introduced to our Special Assistance service and shown how this would work for them if they were to be travelling through an airport in the future.

This was a real benefit for both the airport and to these individuals who perhaps never knew it would be possible to fly.

We were able to understand what their needs were and how to improve our facilities and services to make their journey through an airport as hassle free as possible

As an airport, it is important to continuously assess our facilities and services to ensure that we are delivering the very best to our customers as well as keeping to the standards required by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The CAA require that all airports engage with their local communities. This involves meeting with organisations, speaking with local councils and hosting events.

Here are some of the comments we received from our guests:

Robert Logan, 68, from South Ayrshire said:

“I think it’s wonderful that Prestwick Airport are bending over backwards to help people with additional support needs.  It is often hard enough being visually impaired so the fact that they look to make our lives easier when we are going on holiday is really fantastic.”

 

Prestwick Airport Disability Access Day. Gilbert Neil with his guide dog Harry.

Gilbert Neil with his guide dog Harry

 

Amy McKenzie, 12, from Beith is blind and enjoyed her day at the airport.  She said:

“I think this is great news that the staff at Prestwick Airport are pulling out the stops to help people with disabilities.  I have really enjoyed learning all about the new measures the staff have put in place to assist those with additional support needs.”

Speaking of the event, Jane Thomson, Glasgow Prestwick Airports Landside Operations Manager who said:

“Glasgow Prestwick Airport were delighted to host our inaugural event.  The feedback we received was invaluable and we are now taking the steps to make the necessary changes to make people with support needs airport experience a successful one”.

We also spoke to Alison Blackman, Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s Client Experience Manager said:

“It just goes to show that you don’t have to spend millions to make such a vast improvement to the lives of our customers.  We are pleased to be providing additional access for travellers with disabilities at Prestwick Airport.  It is fantastic that we are enabling people to travel and we hope to make their journey as stress free as possible”.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport believes that air travel should be assessable for all and we endeavour to make sure nobody is held back.