Over 200,000 passengers passed through Cornwall Airport Newquay between May and August this summer, with more than 2,500 requesting additional support within the terminal due to long term illness or disabilities.
With the busy summer season coming to an end, the Airport is planning how we continue to improve our services for passengers requiring special assistance, in conjunction with our Charity of the Year, disAbility Cornwall & Isles of Scilly.
The Airport and the charity have worked together previously on training and improvements to the terminal, so making disAbility Cornwall their chosen charity was an easy decision for staff.
Heather Sturt, Passenger and Customer Services Manager heads up the team dedicated to aiding any passengers who need assistance at any point of their journey through the Airport.
She says: “We are proud to have worked with disAbility Cornwall over the years, so any chance that we have to give something back is welcomed. Working with the charity most recently on training for passengers with hidden disabilities, we are now able to ensure that our staff are more aware of customers with conditions that may not be visible at first glance, such as diabetes, autism or epilepsy.
“We ask for feedback from all of our passengers with reduced mobility via a customer survey. Our aim is to learn from their experiences to ensure that we offer the best possible journey, whether it be at the beginning or the end of their travels.”
The charity has also made several suggestions for the improvement of the terminal, including virtual tours for anyone who may be anxious about the flying process, better signage for those with limited vision, screens for passengers with hearing impairment and a Changing Places suite for anyone who may require this facility.
Jane Johnson, Chief Executive of disAbility Cornwall & Isles of Scilly comments: “We were delighted to be nominated as Charity of the Year. We are aware how the Airport consistently looks to how they can improve their service to all passengers. They understand the principle of getting things right from the outset of any new service or development, and to that end, we look forward to assisting them with the plans for future development.”
Managing Director Al Titterington comments: “We are pleased to work with disAbility Cornwall on improved access to our facilities here at the Airport so are therefore delighted to have them as our Charity of the Year. We hope that this recognition will continue to raise the profile of such a deserving user-led organisation.
“Over 20% of the Cornish population are living with a long-term health condition or disability, so it is therefore a priority for the Airport, Corserv and Cornwall Council that they are not only supported but included in our future plans and improvements to the business. We are proud to hold a very good rating (highest rating) from the CAA for our services to passengers requiring special assistance and are committed to working hard to maintain this in the future.”