STAFF from across Gatwick came together to give disabled people an overview of airport processes.

Travelling through an airport can be a challenge for people with restricted mobility or a hidden disability.

The activities in the North Terminal allowed some 30 families with a disabled member to familiarise themselves with the sights and sounds of the airport so it is not such a scary place when they choose to fly.

To simulate airport processes, staff from Virgin and TUI checked families in while Gatwick’s special assistance team OCS provided buggy rides to a security area.

Border Force officials with their search dogs, police officers and a fire engine were also on hand to replicate the entire airport experience.

Nikki Barton, head of terminals, said: “As an airport we are striving to be as accessible as possible and we are currently engaging with a broad range of disability groups to help make sure we account for the needs of everyone.

“This is an ongoing process and will take time to get right, but things have already changed for the better and we have some exciting developments planned next year.

“With so many people having a physical or hidden disability it is vital that airports everywhere make sure they are as accessible as possible.

“Our accessibility day proved very popular and I am delighted that staff from another airport came to see how we do things.”

Last week Disabilities Minister Paul Maynard visited Gatwick to find out more about the airport’s hidden disability lanyard scheme.

More than 8,000 lanyards have been issued since the scheme was introduced last year and it has been rolled out at 12 UK airports.

Currently about 11 per cent of the UK population has a hidden disability and it is thought that some seven per cent potentially avoid air travel because of a hidden disability.

Gatwick is aiming to be the most accessible airport in the UK and is currently engaging with a broad range of disability groups.