City of Derry Airport Embraces Inclusivity on International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The airport hosted an Accessibility Audit which incorporated the lived experience of the Over 50’s Reference Panel and also the Accessibility Forum, consisting of thirteen persons from across a range of organisations that represent consumers with lived experience of a disability, accessibility, and age friendly. The recommendations arising from the recent visit were presented to the City of Derry Airport to coincide with International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Patricia Logue outlined “Everyone should have access to a positive air travel experience, and I particularly welcome the substantial improvements that the airport has made for those passengers that are living with a disability or reduced mobility.
“Working alongside the Councils Age Friendly and Access & Inclusion Officers and the Accessibility Forum, the involvement from consumer and disability groups help to improve every part of the consumer journey, considering the individual needs of each passenger. The Access and Age-Friendly audits aim to create environments that caters to the diverse needs of persons with a disability and reflects the needs of our ageing population and encourage service improvements.”
International Day of Persons with Disabilities promotes the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities at every level of society and development, and aims to raise awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of political, social, economic, and cultural life. This year, the theme for the IDPWD is 'Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world.
Michelle Kelly from Consumer Council NI said, “The UK Civil Aviation Authority has highlighted the progress that airports have made since the introduction of the regulator's airport accessibility framework in 2015. Since then, there has been a significant rise in the number of passengers requesting assistance at UK airports, with over three million requests made in 2022.
“We’ve been proud to work with City of Derry Airport to establish the Accessibility Forum, in which users of the airport’s Special Assistance services can share their knowledge and experiences of services. It has been great to see the implementation of changes as a result of recommendations made by the Forum. This year’s visit builds on the great partnership and contributions from everyone involved”
Gerard McCloskey, Operations Manager with City of Derry Airport said: “The Access and Age-Friendly Visit aligns with the airport's commitment to being a welcoming space for everyone, regardless of their abilities or age. We are dedicated to ensuring that the City of Derry Airport is a place where every traveller feels valued and their needs are accommodated. Our Access and Age-Friendly Visit is a testament to our ongoing efforts to create an inclusive environment for all.”
“Following on from previous visits the airport has been enhanced to ensure accessibility, including installation of a Changing Places toilet for everyone to access, not just passengers, and signage improvements. Trained staff are available to provide assistance to passengers ensuring a smooth transition from during their visit. We will review the recommendations and advise all stakeholders of developments in the near future.”
For further information on the support available from the City of Derry Airport or to book Special Assistance, visit https://www.cityofderryairport.com/ or telephone 028 7181 0784 or email [email protected]
To get more information on events taking place across Derry City and Strabane District Council to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities visit https://www.derrystrabane.com/subsites/inclusion/international-day-of-persons-with-disabilities or telephone the Access and Inclusion Officer on 028 7125 3253