London City Airport holds open day for autistic passengers

PUBLISHED: 11:45 03 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:45 03 May 2017

Open day attendees with London City Airport staff (Picture:  London City Airport)

Open day attendees with London City Airport staff (Picture: London City Airport)

London City Airport

Flying for the first time can be a daunting experience - even more so if you’re autistic.

That’s why London City Airport has teamed up with the National Autistic Society to give passengers on the spectrum and their families a better understanding of how the aiport operates.

The open day took visitors through a variety of processes, including check-in and security, departures and boarding, with further events planned for later in the year.

Melanie Burnley, director of passenger rxperience at London City Airport, said: “We realise that airport journeys can be stressful for many people, especially if a passenger is unsure of what to expect on the day or is not familiar with the layout or procedures.

“Ensuring that London City Airport is a welcoming environment for all is extremely important to us.”

Daniel Cadey, autism access development manager at the National Autistic Society, said: “Visiting a busy and unpredictable airport can be stressful at the best of times. But for an autistic person, the noise, crowds and break from their usual routine can be overwhelming.

“We’re really pleased that London City Airport are developing resources to help autistic passengers prepare for their visit and flight.”

A new visual guide which familiarises passengers with the airport and sets out a step-by-step guide to a journey has also been introduced at the airport.

Feedback from the open days will be combined with responses on survey cards to see if there are any further steps that can make the airport even more accessible.

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