JUST two years ago Edinburgh Airport was rated as “very poor” at catering for passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility, but in a massive turnaround regulator the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has now given it a mark of “very good”.

The CAA’s accessibility report, which noted a considerable improvement in the service, covers areas such as customer satisfaction, waiting times for assistance and the airport’s ongoing engagement with organisations representing disabled travellers.

Almost 88,000 people used the service at Edinburgh Airport last year – up from 70,000 in 2016 – and it has continued to invest in and improve it.

Edinburgh’s vehicle fleet has seen continuing investment, including two Ambu-lifts, three minibuses and one avi-ramp which improves the arrivals service.

A mobile app has been introduced for passengers with reduced mobility and hidden disabilities to personalise the assistance they receive and the airport is trialling innovative wheelAIR chairs to cool the back and reduce the user’s core temperature by removing excess heat and moisture. Passenger forums help the company engage with a range of passengers who need assistance to ensure they are taken into account in new developments.

Edinburgh is also the first airport in Scotland to achieve an Autism Friendly Award in recognition of the accessible and supportive environment created for autistic passengers.

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s chief executive, said the rating was testament to the hard work put in by everyone involved.

“It’s been a long journey to turn the service around and we tackled that head on, investing more time, staff and funds into a service that we feel is crucial for our passengers and one we take pride in,” he said.

“But the most crucial aspect has been directly engaging with disabled passengers who have lived that experience, so we can listen, learn and implement changes that they have told us will improve the service.

“From technology to training, we’ve made a range of changes, big and small, to make the overall experience better for passengers and that is a continual process. We’re happy with where we are but we always strive to do better, so we’ll use this rating to drive that forward.”

Antony Marke, managing director of passenger services group OmniServ, added: “We are delighted that Edinburgh Airport has achieved a ‘very good’ rating from the CAA.

“Over the last two years, OmniServ and Edinburgh Airport have collaborated to ensure that we provide [passengers with reduced mobility] PRM services of the highest standards and a reflection of the values of both companies.

“Our work won’t stop here. OmniServ will continue to make investments in our people, equipment and the latest technology to enable us to deliver a highly satisfactory customer experience.”