Learning disability group give their views on expansion plans at Luton airport
Members of Voices to be Heard, the speak-out group of Hft, a national charity that supports adults with learning disabilities, have given their opinions on Luton Airport’s ‘Future LuToN’ consultation plans.
Luton Airport has recently (16 December) concluded a period of public consultations on the proposals for expansion, which lay out plans for a second terminal and regeneration of the neighbouring Wigmore Valley Park.
A recent Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) report rated Luton Airport as “Good” in terms of accessibility for disabled passengers. However, the report also concluded that Luton Airport needed to do more to consult with disabled people as part of its proposals.
Billy Davis, Public Affairs and Policy Manager at Hft, commented: “While it is welcome news that Luton Airport is taking positive steps to make the airport accessible for disabled travellers, it is concerning that the CAA has said Luton needs to do more to engage with disabled people. It is our hope that our consultation response will be part of Luton’s wider re-engagement with the disabled community.
“Hft supports or employs over 900 people for whom Luton Airport would be their nearest airport. It was very important for members of Voices to be Heard to participate in the consultation, so that the opinions of those with learning disabilities were considered during the expansion process. Issues raised included adapting the environment for people with learning disabilities by reducing harsh lighting and introducing quiet areas, as well as improving staff training and ensuring passengers aren’t forced to travel separately from their family members or support staff.”
Members of Voices to be Heard have also previously submitted evidence to the Department for Transport’s Draft Transport Accessibility Plan and provided commentary on the expansion plans of Bristol Airport, Doncaster-Sheffield Airport and London Heathrow Airport.