In order to help travellers with sensory or cognitive impairments unwind and become used to the hectic airport setting before takeoff, Liverpool John Lennon Airport and their passenger assistance partner ABM opened a sensory area in the departure lounge.
The development of the sensory space, which cost more than £35,000, provides adults and children with autism and other special needs with a therapeutic, peaceful, and restful environment. It was designed in collaboration with Alder Hey Hospital and the neighbourhood business Autism Adventures. Their expert guidance was instrumental in establishing a location that can accommodate families with autism before they board their vacation flight from Liverpool.
Not only has the airport been working hard to provide the best possible experience to able-bodied passengers—having recently topped the Which? UK Airport survey in recognition of its high levels of customer satisfaction—but it has also been focusing on the needs of those passengers who are frequently discouraged from travelling by air due to a variety of disabilities, helping to make air travel accessible to all.
Part of the work being done in collaboration with numerous disability organisations that offer guidance and support—many of which specialise in hidden disabilities—includes the creation of a sensory area at the airport. In order to make the travel through the airport as comfortable and stress-free as possible for passengers in need of assistance, regardless of their needs, the airport also collaborates closely with its passenger assistance provider, ABM.
In their most recent report on airport services throughout the UK for passengers with disabilities and limited mobility, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rated LJLA as providing the highest quality of “Very Good” service.
Wheelchair users can make reservations for the wheelchair-accessible Sensory Space, which is near the departure lounge picnic area and is open from 8:00 to 18:00 every day.
Paul Staples, Operations Director for LJLA commented:
“We know that heading off on holiday and being able to enjoy the journey can be challenging for some of our passengers, particularly families with someone who has a sensory or cognitive impairment.
This space is a great facility and we would like to thank Autism Adventures and Alder Hey Hospital for all their help and advice in creating this space, which we’re confident will make a difference, helping families have a more relaxed start to their journey.
By working with a host of disability organisations, we have continued the work we have been doing to enable passengers with a wide range of disabilities to take advantage of flying from Liverpool.”
Jim Niblock, ABM Aviation Managing Director said:
“We’re delighted to collaborate with Liverpool John Lennon Airport and introduce a sensory space to help passengers with sensory or cognitive impairment. ABM is dedicated to ensuring the airport experience is positive for everyone, and this new setting reaffirms our commitment to inclusivity.”
Families can use the Sensory Space for free, but they must make bookings in advance. To do so, send an email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with the airport’s Customer Services team.