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Gatwick wins prestigious award for helping remove barriers faced by passengers with a disability

Gatwick says it is delighted to have won ACI Europe’s Accessible Airport Award for its progress in helping to remove barriers that people with disabilities and reduced mobility face when travelling by air.



The Airport Council International Europe is the professional body representing European airports and last night’s award was presented in association with the European Disability Forum – an umbrella organisation that defends the interests of over 80 million Europeans with disabilities.

The award – presented at the ACI Europe’s Annual Congress in Cyprus – was recognition for Gatwick’s drive to improve its services for passengers with a disability, including:

  • Training all frontline staff to recognise and offer appropriate help to passengers with hidden disabilities such as autism and dementia
  • Opening an ‘airline-style lounge’ specifically for passengers with reduced mobility
  • Investing in the UK’s first airport sensory room
  • Initiating what became a UK-wide hidden disability lanyard scheme, which acts as a discreet signal that a passenger may need a little extra help or time

The award was also presented in recognition of Gatwick’s contribution to encouraging other airports to introduce similar schemes and initiatives.

Chris Woodroofe, Chief Operating Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

“Our objective is to give every passenger, regardless of any physical or hidden disability, an equal opportunity to fly.

“This award recognises the significant investment the airport has made into improving our infrastructure, facilities and training. More than anything however this award is for our staff and the way they provide world class assistance to passengers who may require a little extra help when travelling through the airport.”

Making sustainable air travel possible – net zero CO2 emissions by 2050 and a 60% reduction by 2030

At the Annual Congress, VINCI Airports – including Gatwick Airport – also ratified ACI Europe’s commitment to achieve net zero CO2 emissions (i.e. without the use of offset) by 2050.

The commitment falls within the drive to improve environmental performance already initiated by VINCI Airports with its AirPact strategy, which was launched in 2015 across all 46 of the airports in its global network. This integrated strategy is the first of its kind in the airport industry and has already enabled VINCI Airports to reduce its carbon footprint by 20%[i] over the last four years notably by installing solar panels and progressively replacing lighting systems with LED solutions.

Nicolas Notebaert, Chief Executive Officer of VINCI Concessions and Chairman of VINCI Airports, said: 

“For us at VINCI Airports, leadership means setting an example. As the world’s leading private airport operator, we consider it is our role to drive change in our industry. And that is what we are doing, proving it is possible to serve an ever-increasing number of passengers in our airports while also improving our environmental performance and quality of service. At a time when people are more than ever on the move, we are paving the way to positive mobility by developing airport models that are more sustainable, more innovative and more inclusive. This is a key step to take to help aviation as a whole to continue to play its part as a strong catalyst of development worldwide.

[i] Emissions have fallen from 1.11 kg of CO2 equivalent per unit of traffic in 2014 to 0.9 kg of CO2 equivalent per unit of traffic in 2018.


Report reveals Airbus missed drone by just metres at Gatwick Airport

The crew claim that had autopilot been on then they could have collided with the drone.



A report just released has revealed that an Airbus A320 narrowly avoided hitting a drone as it came in to land at Gatwick Airport back in the summer.

This is the second narrow miss reported by crew as they came in to land at Gatwick this year. In April another A320 crew reported having to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

This occasion the drone was much closer though.

The report by the UK Airprox Board says that the A320 pilot was in the late stages of a manual ILS approach into Gatwick.

Interestingly it also says that the crew had taken on extra fuel dure to reports of drone activtity in the London area and also by the controller.

As the plane descended past 350ft the captain called out “drone” which both crew saw being slightly left ahead of them.

The crew were able to keep visual contact with the drone as they flew past but the drone was only 100m away and at the same height as the plane.

The crew were unable to make an evasive manoevre due to the speed of the event and they later reported that if the plane had still been on autopilot then they believed there was a high probablity they would have struck the drone.

The first officer, a drone enthusiast, identified the drone as a DJI Inspire.

The incident happened on the 8th July and was classed as a category A which is the highest risk category given.

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