Norwich International Airport has become one of the first UK airports to sign the Autism Charter.
The Autism Charter is a document which has been produced in collaboration with people with autism and provides a framework for making venues autism friendly.
Working with Autism Anglia, a number of airport staff have completed an autism awareness training programme and are recognised as ‘Autism Champions’. The airport will continue to work closely with Autism Anglia to ensure all staff understand autism and how they can better support passengers and family members who have autism whilst using the airport.
Richard Pace, General Manager of Norwich International Airport said: “We are committed to making the airport experience an easier, speedier and less stressful one for all of our passengers. Autism Anglia has been a valuable source of guidance and information for the airport, delivering training sessions and resources to our staff. The introduction of the Autism Charter and on-going training programme for our staff is another step towards improving the passenger journey through the airport”
A number of resources will be made available at the airport going forward including leaflets and wristbands, with dedicated ‘Autism Champions’ available to offer support.
Jamie Price, Security Manager commented: “To further improve the airport experience, we are in the process of creating a ‘My Travel Card’ for passengers with autism to complete ahead of travel. This document will be available as a download from the airport’s website for completion prior to returning to the airport in advance of travel to ensure we are aware of their needs whilst travelling through the airport”
Anne Ebbage, Norfolk Autism Developments Advisor for Autism Anglia commented: “It was brilliant last year to be asked by Norwich International Airport to help them improve and promote their services for people with ‘hidden disabilities’. The Autism Charter and the Connect to Autism Project has been funded by the Department of Health and rolled out nationally by members of the Autism Alliance. As a member of the Alliance, Autism Anglia has been pleased to deliver this in the Eastern region. The project has aimed to build autism-friendly communities through raising greater awareness and understanding of autism. This will help people with autism and their families feel more welcome and accepted in the community. Autism-friendly environments give people with autism and their families the confidence to go out into their communities and to engage as equal citizens. This means that, often for the first time, they use facilities such as Norwich International Airport, visit shops, use leisure facilities, go to the cinema or theatre and much more".
We are pleased that the airport has signed the Autism Charter and that we are able to support and assist them in their developments to make using the airport a more enjoyable experience for people with autism and their fellow travellers.”