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Regional and City Airports celebrates top ranking by Civil Aviation Authority for accessibility services

Regional and City Airports (RCA) is celebrating a top ranking from the Civil Aviation Authority for the quality of customer service provided to disabled and less mobile passengers at all three passenger airports it owns and operates – Exeter Airport, Norwich Airport, and Bournemouth Airport.

Photo by Theo Moye 02/02/23 The RNIB train Passenger Services staff to help visually impaired passengers.

The CAA’s annual Airport Accessibility Report, assessing 26 of the largest UK airports, has rated all three RCA airports as ‘very good’ – the highest ranking – in all four quarters from April 2022 to March 2023, demonstrating their dedication to accessibility excellence.

The recognition is testament to RCA’s efforts in ensuring that every passenger, regardless of their mobility needs, enjoys a seamless and relaxed travel experience at Exeter, Norwich, and Bournemouth Airports.

Andrew Bell, Chief Executive of Regional and City Airports, said: “We are immensely proud of the ‘very good’ ranking awarded by the Civil Aviation Authority to all three of our airports. At RCA, we believe that inclusivity is at the heart of excellent customer service. This recognition reinforces our commitment to providing passengers with disabilities the highest standard of assistance and care.”

RCA has been at the forefront of innovative initiatives to support disabled and less mobile passengers. Earlier this year it launched a ground-breaking 360-degree video guide for passengers at Bournemouth Airport, developed as part of an ongoing collaboration with Cranfield University, which offers a virtual tour of the airport, providing vital information to passengers with specific accessibility requirements before they travel.

Moreover, RCA has been working closely with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to empower airport staff with valuable insights into living with sight loss conditions. Through tailored training, staff members gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by visually impaired individuals, enabling them to provide more empathetic and effective assistance within the airport premises.

Passengers frequently contact RCA about their positive experiences. One wrote: “I am writing to you as I felt compelled to pass on my congratulations to you and your team for the amazing service you provided to me when I recently flew. The assistance you provided to passengers requiring special assistance was exemplary and outstanding. This is how all airports and their staff should strive to be.”

Another passenger travelling to two autistic children wrote: “The young lady who met us was totally laid back and relaxed which set the scene for our two girls. I don’t know if she was trained to bring those skills but with invisible disabilities, she nailed it for us. All through to the aircraft she displayed this calming nature. Could not have been better.”

Paul Smith, Joint-Interim Chief Executive at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, acknowledged the airports’ achievements, saying: “Today’s report shows the dedicated efforts of airports across the UK to ensure that all passengers receive the standard of service they deserve. With 18 airports consistently achieving good or very good ratings, and others demonstrating significant improvements, the industry is making strides in returning accessibility levels to those seen before the Covid-19 pandemic.”