Gatwick is autism-friendly

In a first for a UK airport, Gatwick has become an Autism Friendly airport.

The airport was awarded the National Autistic Society’s Autism Friendly Award in recognition of the procedures the airport has put in place the ensure that autistic travelers receive the same warm welcome as everybody else.

Procedures include:

    • Clear and accessible information for autistic passengers about the airport and the assistance available
    • Staff training so that staff are better able to assist autistic passengers
    • The introduction of the discreet hidden disability lanyard
    • Introducing Autism Champions.

Speaking about the award, the National Autistic Society Chief Executive Mark Lever said: “Autistic people and their families want to access the same opportunities others often take for granted, and this includes holidays and travel. But many rely on routines to make sense of an often confusing world and can find the busy and unpredictable airport and flight environment distressing and disorientating.

“So we are delighted that Gatwick Airport has put so much effort into improving this situation and have achieved our prestigious Autism Friendly Award.  What particularly impressed us is the care they continue to take to incorporate the feedback of autistic people and their families to help improve the service they offer to them and other customers with hidden disabilities. Helpful guidance and information specific to the needs of autistic travellers is available on their website and Gatwick staff will receive our autism training. This means that at every stage of the flight process, from check-in to boarding, staff will be aware of autism and will be able to offer appropriate support and advice.

“We hope that many more major airports will follow Gatwick’s inspiring example.”

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