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Special Assistance at Norwich Airport

The Special Assistance Desk at Norwich Airport used to be just about providing wheelchairs for people with reduced mobility. Now, the new signs behind the desk point to the fact that Norwich Airport is also meeting the needs of those with hidden disabilities, which can only be good news for those concerned about their elderly parents negotiating the airport on route to holiday.

In 2016/7, Norwich was named as one of 10 airports rated ‘very good’ at providing a high standard of assistance. It also got a special mention in a Civil Aviation Authority Airport performance report for consulting with organisations representing non-physical disabilities, and implementing a number of initiatives designed to improve the service for this group of passengers and their families and friends.

Dementia Friendly Norwich pledge

Norwich Airport was one of the first UK airports to sign the Autism Charter, and it is a key member of the Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance.  One of its pledges is to encourage passengers with dementia and their carers to visit and tour the facilities prior to the day of travel – the hope is that this will remove any concerns or worries and give them confidence to use air travel.

We joined  a couple living with dementia on a tour and filmed the experience. (insert dementia walk film)

Pre-book to avoid disappointment

The latest figures show that, in March, 100 per cent of the 90 people with reduced mobility who had pre-booked were seen within 10 minutes of making themselves known. It’s also worth noting that people can pick up a sunflower lanyard to wear whilst they are at the airport and staff are trained to recognise these and assist.

hidden disablity sign

For example, older people with pacemakers are often worried about going through the metal detector machines and activating the alarms.’ But the Special Assistance Team are there to help with each and every stage of the passenger’s journey through the airport, including the cabin baggage search area.

Once through the departure lounge, Norwich Airport has invested in equipment such as Aviramps to aid people with reduced mobility to board the aircraft. The equipment has received positive feedback from passengers as it reduces the strain of climbing aircraft steps whilst maintaining individual’s independence and dignity.

Then, after your parents have holidayed in the sun for a week or two, the Special Assistance team will once again be on hand to help them negotiate the arrivals hall and beyond.

For more information visit the Norwich Airport website.