What we are doing to help our passengers with additional needs

Inverness Airport received the Excellence in Transport Accessibility award at the 2020 Scottish Transport AwardsOctober 2020
Four new 'Aviramp' aircraft access systems ordered to allow wheelchair-friendly ramped access right up to the aircraft doorsSeptember 2020
Inverness Airport Received the 2020 Accessibility Award for Access and Inclusivity from the Nairn Access PanelMarch 2020
Inverness Airport presented their accessibility awareness scheme at the NHS Highland Networking and Information Sharing EventDecember 2019
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
Autism Awareness training with Autism InitiativesJuly 2017 & September 2018

Excellence in Transport Accessibility Award

Inverness Airport was honoured to receive the Excellence in Transport Accessibility Award at the 2020 Scottish Transport Awards Summit.  The event was held virtually this year, but the award, sponsored by Disability Equality Scotland, reflects the efforts the whole airport team have made in making Inverness Airport truly accessible for all.

Order Placed for Aviramp Aircraft Access Systems

The airport has continued its commitment to improving accessibility for all by ordering four ‘Aviramp’ aircraft access systems.  The Aviramp allows wheelchair users and others with mobility constraints to reach the aircraft doors in a safe and dignified manner using a gently sloping ramped platform.  The Aviramps are expected to be delivered early in the new year and will include LED lighting to ensure safety when using the ramp.  Two of the ramps are the larger ‘continental’ versions and these will be covered to offer some protection against the notoriously unpredictable Highland weather.  The ‘ambulift’ access platforms will continue to be available for customers who require or prefer this service.

Nairn Access Panel Accessibility Award

Inverness Airport were delighted to be awarded the 2020 Accessibility Award by the Nairn Access Panel.  The award recognises the airport’s commitment to access and inclusivity.  The panel’s Chair, Ian Booth, said ‘Travel can be stressful to say the least. It can bring out many hidden fears more so for those with disabilities, both obvious and hidden. Over the past few years Inverness Airport and its staff have gone the extra mile to provide a level of support and assistance to disabled travellers that is second to none. From arriving in the car park to being seated in the aircraft support is available from friendly and well informed, understanding and supportive staff. It is for this reason that Nairn Access Panel is awarding its Access and Inclusivity Award for 2020 to Inverness Airport‘.

NHS Highland Networking and Information Sharing Event

The airport were invited to attend a networking and information sharing event hosted by NHS Highland.  The event is intended to promote and share best practices for people with additional support needs.  A presentation was given to the forum which described the hidden disability lanyard scheme and the other accessibility initiatives being carried out at the airport.

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.

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. 

 

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