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Heathrow criticised for failing disabled passengers

Heathrow told it must improve its level of service for passengers who are disabled

Heathrow is under fire for failing in the service it gives to thousands of disabled passengers who use the airport every year.

It has been rated among the worst airports in the UK for disabled passengers and told it must improve.

A survey by the Civil Aviation Authority of thirty airports rated it in the bottom four with a "poor" rating. The regulator said the airport had "fallen short of expectations."

Gatwick and Southampton were rated good but failed to get into the very good catogory.

“UK aviation should be proud that it continues to serve a rapid increase in the number of passengers with a disability.

Our surveys, along with the airports’ own studies, have shown high levels of satisfaction among disabled passengers and we have seen some examples of excellent service where assistance is well organised and delays are minimal. However, East Midlands, Exeter, Heathrow and Manchester have fallen short of our expectations and we have secured commitments from them to make improvements. We will monitor their implementation over the coming months to make sure that services for passengers with a disability or reduced mobility continue to improve.”

– Richard Moriarty, CAA Director of Consumers and Markets

Protesters gather ahead of airport expansion decision

Members of the campaign group Plane Stupid outside the House of Commons

People fighting plans for airport expansion in the South have begun to gather outside the House of Commons ahead of an official government announcement on the matter.

The Government's preferred choice for the location of a new runway or additional capacity for aeroplanes and flights - will be announced at 12.30 this afternoon.

Farnborough International Airshow launch reveals safety changes & lineup

The launch event has revealed the lineup for the event in July

Major safety changes have been announced at the launch of this year's Farnborough International Airshow.

The event in July will be the first major air show to take place in the UK since the disaster at the Shoreham Airshow last August, in which eleven people died.

The safety changes revealed for the Farnborough International Airshow 2016

More roads surrounding the airport will be closed before and during the week-long event. The areas where aerobatic displays can take place will be restricted and further away from spectators.

However, there are concerns tonight - that the changes may go too far. Our Transport Correspondent, Mike Pearse, takes a look ahead to the show in Farnborough, and the impact the changes will have on one of the nation's most popular activities.

The interviewees are Shaun Ormrod from the Farnborough Airshow; Gerald Howarth the MP for Aldershot, Conservative; Michael Underwood and Angellica Bell, who will both be presenting at the show.


After 23 near misses with drones pilots call for action

Airline pilot call for Government to back research into impact of drones on passenger jet safety

A group of pilots are calling for more research to be done into what would happen if a drone hit a plane - after a series of near misses - including one at Southampton airport.

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), says a drone passed within two wing lengths of an aircraft last July. In all, there were 23 near misses between April and October last year - including at Detling in Kent, RAF Odiham in Hampshire and at Heathrow Airport.

This report by Sally Simmonds is followed by an interview a representative from BALPA, which is calling for the Government to back more research into the consequences of such a collision.

Twenty-three near misses between drones & planes

A drone flying in the sky

Airline pilots are calling for new research into what could happen if an aircraft engine is hit by a drone.

There were around 23 near misses between aircraft and drones in the last year, including one at Detling in Kent, which came within sixty feet of a passenger jet. Pilots are also calling for existing controls to be better enforced.

Steve Landells from the British Airline Pilots Association said such an impact could cause engine failure or a cracked windscreen.

Manston Airport won't be reopened 'any time soon'

The future of the former airport site is uncertain

Is it the end for hopes of reopening Manston Airport? Last night, councillors from Thanet District Council - elected earlier this year on a promise to get planes flying again, admitted that any reopening of the airport was not going to happen any time soon.

Specifically, a Compulsory Purchase Order, or plans to use a compulsory purchase of the airfield, were scrapped. The same councillors told us today, that they had not abandoned their vision - but were exploring new options.

Meanwhile, 18 months after the place was mothballed, airport developers say the council's wasting time and money. Derek Johnson has our report.

The interviewees are: Cllr Chris Wells, Leader, Thanet District Council, UKIP; Niall Lawlor from RiverOak Investments; Ray Mallon, spokesman for Stone Hill Park owners Trevor Cartner and Chris Musgrave.

Swansong for Vulcan bomber

Engineers have concerns over the structure of the iconic plane and say they can no longer maintain it.

Campaigners in Hampshire raised millions of pounds to restore the plane which was developed at Farnborough.

It has for the last decade been the star at flying displays including Farnborough, Bournemouth, Eastbourne and Biggin Hill.

The plane was capable of firing nuclear wepons and was the British deterant to Russia in the 1960's and 70's, the so-called Cold War.

The plane will fly for a final time at the regions displays. Its current last public appearance is at Dunsfold in Surrey but more dates are expected to be added to its farewell.

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