What we are doing to help our passengers with additional needs

Hosted a visit from St Duthus School School in Tain (school for pupils with Additional Support Needs)October 2019
Dementia Friends session held with Alzheimer Scotland for customer-facing staffSeptember 2019
Inverness Airport attended Nairn Access PanelFebruary 2018, June 2018 & August 2019
Attended Cantraybridge College Open Day (a local college helping students with Additional Support Needs into the workplace)May 2019
Presented at the Scottish Government Autism Strategy Review Group MeetingMay 2019
Visit from Drummond School (school for pupils with Additional Support Needs)February 2019
Autism Awareness training with Autism InitiativesJuly 2017 & September 2018
Hidden Disability lanyards introducedApril 2018
Changing Places accessible changing facility openedApril 2018
New car park drop-off area with assistance call points openedMarch 2018

St Duthus School Visit

Teachers and pupils from St Duthus school in Tain visited the airport this October.  The visit allowed the pupils to see the workings of the airport and helped allay any fears they might have had about travelling by air.  The school offers specialist provision for pupils aged 3 – 19 years who have severe learning difficulties and those with profound and complex needs.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the visit and we look forward to welcoming the school back again in the future.

Dementia Friends

A Dementia Friends session with Alzheimer Scotland was held for customer facing staff from around the airport. 14 members of the team attended the session, including one from the soon-to-open airport hotel.  The session covered types and symptoms of dementia as well as practical steps to ensure the airport is accessible to people suffering from the disease.  We’re looking forward to working more with Alzheimer Scotland and to holding further sessions in the future.

Nairn Access Panel

The airport and special assistance service provider attend the Nairn Access Panel regularly to brief them on the latest updates at the airport. Recent updates have included the progress of the hidden disability lanyard scheme, the terminal redevelopment and improved access through security and the dementia awareness sessions being carried out.

Cantraybridge College Visits

The airport and special assistance service provider attended the open day held by Cantraybridge College in May 2019.  The college promotes the skills and talents of young people with disabilities and helps them into the workplace. We’re now in discussion with the college about developing a voluntary scheme which would introduce students into the working environment at the airport.

Scottish Government Autism Strategy Review Group

The airport was invited to attend and present at the Scottish Government’s Autism Strategy Review Group held in Inverness during May 2019.  The presentation was aimed at promoting the hidden disabilities schemes and accessibility work being carried out by the airport.  The review group was attended by local autism charities as well as interested individuals and healthcare professionals.

Drummond School

Since February 2019 the airport has hosted visits from the staff and pupils at Drummond School.  The school is for pupils with additional support needs, many having severe learning difficulties and complex needs.  We support the school by providing familiarisation visits to make the airport environment less overwhelming.  This helps to open travel opportunities for people who would usually find the experience extremely stressful.

Awareness Training

Approximately 40 member of the team have now attended training with the Autism Initiatives charity based in Inverness.  The focus of the training is on the hidden disability aspects of autism and how staff can help make the journey through the airport far easier. 

National Autistic Society (NAS)

The airport management team have met with members of the National Autistic Society (NAS) to discuss the work we’re carrying out to ensure the airport is accessible for all.  The NAS team promote the Autism Friendly Award which Inverness Airport is working towards.  The introduction of hidden disability lanyards and the development of the Autism Friendly visual guide were discussed and both were well received by the NAS.

Award-winning accessible changing facility

We’ve recently opened this fantastic new changing facility which has won an award as best in Scotland at Loo of the Year 2018. It’s a really unique and quiet space that’s also ideal for those just needing some ‘time out’ from the hustle and bustle of an airport environment. The room includes a hoist and variable height sink as well as variable lighting and Bluetooth connectivity.  The requirement for this room was highlighted by customers travelling through the airport who found the existing facilities difficult to use. 

A spokesperson for Changing Places in Scotland said “It is excellent that Inverness Airport has installed a Changing Places and is making a point that it can be used not just by air travellers but anyone who needs it who is in the vicinity.”

Download our FREE Connect Magazine

Filled with news, tips, and ideas for your next trip away, our free magazine is your perfect guide to the Highlands – and beyond!

Get Yours Today!