The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reviewed the level of service for disabled people and passengers with reduced mobility at 16 of Britain’s largest airports over a seven-month period to October 31.
The regulator found only Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast International, East Midlands and London City were rated ‘very good’ for the whole period under review.
Liverpool and Newcastle were rated as a mixture of “good” and “very good”.
London Luton was the worst-performing airport, with standards rated as ‘poor’.
Bristol, Leeds Bradford and London Heathrow were all still deemed as needing improvement.
The review comes after the CAA wrote to airports earlier this year telling them the experience passengers had received was unacceptable. Underperforming hubs were instructed to do more to improve the quality of assistance throughout the rest of the summer.
A total of eight airports were ranked as ‘poor’ in the early months of the reporting period, based on too many disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility waiting for unacceptably long periods for assistance on arrival.
However, the CAA said Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Stansted and Manchester were rated as either ‘good’ or ‘very good’ by the end of the reporting period.
A total of 85,000 passengers were supported by the special assistance service at Edinburgh Airport alone between January and November this year. The accessibility provision service at the Edinburgh hub was brought ‘in-house’ in April last year.
Edinburgh Airport operations director Adam Wilson said: “This rating is a testament to their [our teams’] efforts, and comes following a challenging 2022, which brought with it a rise in passenger numbers like never before.”
Paul Smith, CAA director of consumers, said: “The aviation industry has faced unprecedented challenges, but too many passengers at UK airports have been waiting for unacceptable amounts of time for assistance on arriving flights on too many occasions.
“We strongly believe that everyone should have access to air travel, and we welcome the substantial improvements that airports have made for disabled and less mobile passengers,” he said.