Cornwall Airport Newquay is proud to have become the UK’s first Makaton Friendly Airport. 75 members of the team at Cornwall Airport Newquay have recently completed training in Makaton.
Makaton is a language system that uses signs and symbols designed to be used alongside spoken word to help children and adults who have additional communication needs and to encourage their language development.
The training was carried out by a tutor from The Makaton Charity, alongside Cornwall Accessible Activities Programme (CAAP), and staff from departments across the Airport took part including passenger services, security, café, airside services and the management office.
Passenger & Customer Services Manager, Heather Sturt, commented: ‘We’re delighted to be UK’s first Makaton Friendly Airport. By having our staff trained in Makaton we can work to ensure that we provide the best experience for all passengers coming through the Airport and are able to communicate effectively with everyone.’
Sturt continued: ‘Our aim is to give our staff an awareness of as many disabilities as possible. They have previously completed training in assisting passengers with Autism, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Anxiety and Hearing and Sight loss as well as passengers who require assistance with mobility.’
Staff have been given flash cards of some key Makaton signs and symbols to enhance their training, and these are also going to be on display in their work areas.
Over 6,000 passengers with additional needs used the Airport in 2018 and the training will help the Airport in furthering its promotion of how easy air travel is to all passengers and encourage more people to use the Airport.