These Are The Best and Worst UK Airports for Disability Access

Jul 11, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) published its fourth report on the accessibility of the UK’s airports for disabled passengers. The CAA use four categories — ‘poor’, ‘needs improvement’, ‘good’ and ‘very good’ — to rank the level of accessibility at each airport. Notably, for the first time since reporting began, no airport received the lowest rating of ‘poor’.

The findings show that where some airports have been upgraded from ‘good’ to ‘very good’, others have been downgraded from ‘very good’ to ‘good’. Interestingly, the majority of the airports that are featured in the ‘very good’ category are smaller, regional airports like City of Derry (LDY), Cornwall Newquay (NQY), Kirkwall (KOI) and Sumburgh (LSI). All of London’s six airports are only ranked as ‘good’.

The most worrying of all is that the UK’s third-busiest airport, Manchester (MAN), was rated as ‘needs improvement’ — the only airport in that category. Manchester Airport Group (MAG) is the owner of Manchester Airport, as well London’s Stansted (STN) and East Midlands (EMA), which are both ranked as being ‘good’.


  • Very Good: Aberdeen, Belfast City, City of Derry, Cornwall Newquay, Doncaster Sheffield, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Glasgow Prestwick, Humberside, Kirkwall, Norwich, Southampton, Sumburgh
  • Good: Belfast International, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Inverness, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, London Southend, London Stansted, Newcastle
  • Needs Improvement: Manchester
  • Poor: N/A

Since 2010, there has been an 80% increase in the number of assistance requests across 31 of the major airports in the UK. In the past year alone, there have been 3.7 million requests.

While it’s great to see that none of the largest 31 airports are featured in the ‘poor’ category, Aviation Minister Baroness Vere acknowledges that “there is much more to do”.

Featured photo courtesy Getty Images.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.