Belfast City Airport, the UK and Ireland’s most convenient airport, has worked hard to make travelling easier for all.
Back in 2010, it was the first airport in the UK to introduce a Changing Places toilet and since then, it has continued to improve its accessibility through several initiatives and its ongoing work with local support groups and its own disability forum.
It was the first airport to recognise JAM (Just A Minute) cards from the NOW Group, an initiative which acts as a simple way for people to ask for patience and support in a customer service situation.
On top of that, the airport also created its own hidden disabilities lanyards and holds regular familiarisation visits with Northern Ireland based autism awareness groups and guide dog trainers.
Euan MacDonald, Co-Founder of Euan’s Guide said:
“Flying can be a stressful time, particularly for those with access requirements. The actions taken by George Best Belfast City Airport, have helped make travelling that little bit easier for many of the people who use their airport. They are a great example of a business that continues to improve their disabled access, considering the differing access requirements individuals may have.”
Bill Doole, Duty Manager at Belfast City Airport, said:
“It is an honour to be named Northern Ireland’s Venue of the Year for our outstanding welcome for visitors of all abilities.
“It is important that our passengers, regardless of ability, feel welcome and comfortable when travelling through our airport.
“We retained our ‘Very Good’ rating for our accessibility services in 2019, the highest recognition available from the CAA, and our staff are specially trained to provide the best quality of service to meet the needs of any individual.
“Our Airport Accessibility Forum helps us work closely with disability support groups across the country to ensure we are continually improving our service through user feedback and listening, which in turn increases our understanding of different passenger’s needs.
“As a leading business, we aim to enrich the local community and consider comfort and convenience a top priority for all those who travel through Belfast City Airport.”
Disabled people nominated hundreds of venues for the awards. Eight regional winners were selected who each provide an outstanding welcome for disabled visitors.
The winners included arts and conference venue Barbican Centre, London’s Venue of the Year. A family favourite, Cadbury World was named Midlands’ Venue of the Year while the immersive open air Beamish Museum was awarded Northern England’s Venue of the Year. It awarded animal attractions Newquay Zoo, Southern England’s Venue of the Year, and Folly Farm, Wales’ Venue of the Year. Edinburgh’s newest distillery, Holyrood Distillery took the award for Scotland South with the Scotland North award going to the historic Culloden Battlefield and its contemporary Visitor Centre.
Disabled access information can often be hard to find which is why disabled people use the disabled access review website Euan’s Guide to share their own experiences and find new places to visit that have been recommended by other people. The website holds thousands of reviews for all types of places making it easier for people to find great accessible places to go.