Improved service for customers with additional needs at Inverness Airport

As part of HIAL’s ongoing commitment to improving our facilities for travellers with additional needs, Inverness Airport have recently introduced a new lanyard scheme for customers with hidden disabilities, as well as installing a Changing Places room.

Lanyards
Inverness Airport have joined a UK-wide scheme to ensure that customers who have hidden disabilities are given any support and assistance they may require.  The scheme uses lanyards printed with sunflowers on a green background to discretely identify customers who may need a bit of additional help or understanding.

If the customer appears to need any help the lanyard will ensure that staff are aware that the customer has additional needs.

In addition, where customers find the airport experience stressful, for example something which may occur for those on the autistic spectrum, staff will have a greater understanding of why certain behaviours may be exhibited. This will allow appropriate and discrete assistance to be given, or help to be requested as necessary.

Over the coming months training will be offered to staff to increase awareness of hidden disabilities and to ensure that customers receive all the help they need.  Any trained staff will be given a lapel badge or ribbon as they prefer to show that they have had training and can be approached for help if needed.

Eventually,  we are aiming to have all customer facing staff – from the airport and our partners – to achieve a level of awareness of hidden disabilities.

The lanyards will be given to customers on request.  To obtain yours, please ask at the Airport Information Desk, or contact infoINV@hial.co.uk or 01667 464000.  For more information on the scheme see the OCS website.

Changing Places room
The new room has plenty of space for passengers and their carers, and equipment including a mobile adult size changing bench, ceiling mounted hoist, privacy screen, emergency call alarm and accessible space around the toilet, plus a sink that can be raised and lowered.  It is also a quiet space for those who find travelling stressful, such as those with autism.

The new facility will be registered on the Changing Places App to enable users to locate it and as Inverness Airport is situated just off the A96 it will be accessible to anyone out on a day trip to Inverness or to the beach in Nairn – you don’t need to be flying to use the room.

Graeme Bell, General Manager at Inverness Airport, said “The installation of our new Changing Places facility demonstrates our commitment to constant improvement and makes our airport as comfortable as possible to all of our passengers.”

Fiona Harper, spokesperson for Changing Places in Scotland, PAMIS, said, “It is excellent that Inverness Airport has installed a Changing Places and is making a point that it can be used not just by air travellers, but anyone who needs it who is in the vicinity.”

To gain access, just ask at the Information Desk.