Information for Passengers with Reduced Mobility

Image: Brian Gray

Assistance provided at the airport

HIAL actively engage with NHS Shetland to produce a patient charter and a patient passport (information for travel including hidden disabilities).  Front line staff from HIAL and Loganair have received training on supporting our passengers with additional requirements (including hidden disabilities).  We also engage with Loganair to provide a streamlined seamless journey through our airport and onto the aircraft.

Sumburgh Airport is pleased to offer the following range of services for passengers with reduced mobility:

  • Meet and Greet – Sumburgh Airport operates a meet and greet service through prior arrangement with the airline
  • Wheelchairs  – available at the airport for use from your car to the aircraft and vice versa
  • Ambulift – this is provided for safe and dignified transport assistance from the terminal to the aircraft for embarkation and disembarkation
  • Assistance – staff will provide assistance throughout the airport process throughout check-in and security checks until boarding the aircraft
  • Accessible parking – provided in the car parks
  • Accessible toilets – provided both prior to and after the security search area and with hidden disabilities signage
  • Engagement with Crohns and Colitis groups to help those affected when travelling
  • Many of our PRM passengers are destined for Aberdeen, therefore Sumburgh Airport also liaises with the NHS discharge nurse assigned to Aberdeen Airport.

How to obtain assistance

If you require assistance please make arrangements a minimum of 48 hours prior to travel through your airline.  Contact details are provided below or at  Please contact your airline directly to arrange assistance.


  • Enquiries regarding extra assistance should be made to 0344 800 2855 or
  • The extra assistance booking form can be downloaded from the Loganair extra assistance page

Accessibility User Group

Sumburgh Airport has implemented an Accessibility User Group which meets twice a year.  The purpose of this group is to:

  • Represent the interests of all users who require additional support at the terminal and to provide information on the services available
  • Act as a constructive and supportive body to seek and give feedback on the quality of service being provided to users
  • Provide a forum for the airport management team to test ideas for service amendment and improvement
  • Explore training options for Airport staff to assist in the understanding of additional needs
  • Bring issues of concern or potential risk to the attention of management.
  • Membership of this group comprises of:
    • Airport Manager, Airport Services Manager & Terminal Operations Manager
    • Loganair Customer Service Manager

    Representatives from:

    • NHS Patient Travel Manager
    • Disability Shetland
    • Shetland Carers
    • Dementia Scotland
    • Shetland Community Connections
    • SANDs
    • Independent wheelchair users
    • Independent users with visual impairments.

Accessibility User Group Minutes – 6 March 2019

Accessibility User Group Minutes – 18 September 2019

Getting to the airport

For general information on getting to Sumburgh Airport – click here.  Disabled parking bays are available in the car parks.

Airport layout

Walking distances are provided below.  Map 1 and Map 2 show the layout of the airport and surrounding car parks.

Furthest disabled parking bay to terminal building entrance120m
Furthest parking bay north car park to terminal building entrance150m
Furthest parking east car park to terminal building entrance260m
Furthest bus stop to terminal building entrance11m
Furthest taxi drop off point to terminal building entrance11m
Furthest check in desk to departure gate91m

Performance Standards

Our Service Level Agreement for arriving and departing passengers is as follows:

Departing PassengersArriving Passengers
For pre-booked departing customersFor pre-booked arriving customers
Upon arrival at the airport, once they have made themselves known:Assistance should be available at the gate/aircraft side for:
80% of passengers wait no longer than 10 minutes for assistance80% of customers within 5 minutes of "on chocks"
90% of passengers wait no longer than 20 minutes for assistance90% within 10 minutes
100% of passengers wait no longer than 30 minutes for assistance100% within 20 minutes
Subject to pre-notification 100% of departing customers/passengers who are at the designated point within the stipulated time should reach their aircraft in time to allow timely pre-boarding and departure.
For non-pre-booked departing customersFor non-pre-booked arriving customers
Upon arrival at the airport, once they have made themselves known:Assistance should be available at the gate/aircraft side for:
80% of passengers wait no longer than 25 minutes for assistance80% of customers within 25 minutes of "on chocks"
90% of passengers wait no longer than 35 minutes for assistance90% within 35 minutes
100% of passengers wait no longer than 45 minutes for assistance100% within 45 minutes
For those that have not pre-notified the airport will "make all reasonable efforts" to ensure that passengers reach the gate on time.

Summer 2017 reporting data – open pdf

Winter 2017/18 reporting data – open pdf

Summer 2018 reporting data – open pdf

Winter 2018/19 reporting data – open pdf

Winter 2019/20 reporting data – open pdf

Airport Security

If you require assistance, it is important to advise your travel agent or airline when booking your flight.  This will ensure minimum waiting time on arrival at the airport.

All passengers must pass through a security check before reaching the departure lounge.  In order to make the transit through the airport as comfortable as possible for persons with reduced mobility, searches may be carried out by hand or by using hand-held detectors.  If required, a private search area away from the main area can be provided.

You are permitted to bring medical equipment if it is essential for your journey.  The equipment will be screened separately and must be accompanied by supporting documentation from a qualified medical professional such as a letter from your doctor.  Walking aids and wheelchairs must be x-ray screened and searched and we ask passengers to be patient whilst these additional security measures are in place and to cooperate with all airport security staff.  These items will be carried in the cargo hold but you will be able to use them up to the aircraft steps when they will be taken to put in the hold of the aircraft.  These items will be returned to you at the aircraft steps when you arrive at your destination.

Mobility Equipment

If you require assistance please make arrangements with your airline prior to arrival at the airport.

Any electric mobility aids should be prepared for carriage in accordance with the manufacturers and airline guidelines.  Generally this entails switching the ignition off with the key.  Some electric mobility aids have a circuit breaker which can be switched off while a few require the battery to be disconnected from the wiring harness.

There are two types of batteries:

  • Wet-cell batteries:  these are generally not allowed on board flights
  • Dry-cell batteries (including lithium batteries)

For chairs with dry-cell or lithium batteries:

  • the battery can remain attached to the wheelchair provided that it is secure;
  • the terminals do not need to be disconnected if they are already inside a cell case or isolated (to avoid any short circuits);
  • the motor must be disengaged.

Upon arrival at your destination, it is the responsibility of the airline to return your mobility aid to you in the same condition as you left it.  Your mobility aid will be returned to you at the earliest possible point, generally as soon as you have disembarked the aircraft.  Assistance for boarding and disembarking will be similar.

In the unlikely event that on arrival of your flight you find that your mobility equipment is damaged or lost, we will arrange and pay for local providers to supply temporary replacement equipment (albeit not necessarily on a like for like basis) or if possible, by temporarily lending you our equipment.  However, liability for the damage (repairing and replacing the equipment) lies with the airline.

PRM helpline

Please contact Sumburgh Airport, Shetland Isles, ZE3 9JP or call 01950 461000.

Opening hours are 06:30 – 20:30 (Monday to Friday), 06:30 – 16:45 (Saturday) and 10:00 – 20:15 (Sunday).

Complaints contact details

In the event of a complaint, please contact Andrew Farquhar, Sumburgh Airport, Shetland Isles, ZE3 9JP, or 01950 461000.