IN PICTURES: Heathrow Accessibility Open Day 2018

Heathrow

By Heathrow

Published 16th July 2018

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Heathrow has opened its doors to let persons with disabilities learn more about the assistance options available at each stage of their journeys, and to listen to their feedback on how to further improve services available to passengers who require support.

This event coincided with the launch of the Civil Aviation Authority’s annual report on accessibility at UK airports, which has restored Heathrow’s ranking to ‘good’ following a ‘poor’ rating last year.

The new ranking follows a year of rapid changes for the airport which saw the Heathrow Access Advisory Group (HAAG) established, £23 million invested in new equipment, resources and technology, and innovations like a distinctive lanyard for passengers with hidden disabilities introduced.

Part of a series of activities to promote accessible air travel, the Heathrow Open Day was run by the Accessible Transport Forum (ATF), the grassroots arm of the Heathrow Access Advisory Group (HAAG) in conjunction with Heathrow Airport, British Airways, and the airport’s special assistance provider, OmniServ.

Engaging with persons with disabilities is essential to keep accessibility at the forefront of Heathrow’s thinking, especially now that the expansion plan has entered a more dynamic phase. In the coming months the HAAG will work with Heathrow to help develop the accessible airport of the future, an environment for everyone to use.

HAAG Chair Roberto Castiglioni

The event provided a general introduction to air travel at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, while following open days will offer more focussed tours for passengers with specific needs – for example, for those passengers who travel with personal wheelchairs, or those with hidden disabilities.Throughout 2017, Heathrow welcomed around 1.25 million passengers with reduced mobility – the most of any airport in the UK – as well as many passengers with hidden disabilities.

The airport is on a journey with its special assistance programme and continues to look at ways to empower passengers to be as independent as possible when travelling. Dates and details of all Heathrow Open Days are available on the HAAG’s website.

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Heathrow has embraced the colours of the rainbow in celebration of Pride in London and commissioned a unique interpretation of the iconic flag, created with the help of 6,000 passengers’ kisses. Populated by staff and passengers the flag will now fly above Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal until the end of July.

  • 6,000 passengers donate their kisses to create unique piece of art for Pride London

  • Heathrow’s Pride flag is now flying high above Terminal 2 until the end of July

  • The crowd-sourced artwork is part of a week of celebrations, co-ordinated by the Heathrow Proud Network who provide support to LGBT+ employees

  • 5% more passengers than last year are due to fly into Heathrow ahead of Pride in London this weekend

The unveiling of the flag is part of a week-long celebration of Pride, with Heathrow showing its support for the LGBT+ community and the colourful spirit of the event, ready to welcome 5% more passengers into London in the week ahead of Pride, than the same time last year.

The piece of ‘kissing art’ – created with kisses rather than traditional paintbrush strokes – denotes the famous rainbow coloured flag and has been populated by international passengers. Each passenger placed their own individual ‘kiss’ stamp onto the crowd-sourced artwork, to show their own support for LGBT+ rights.

To celebrate Pride London, Heathrow has commissioned a unique interpretation of the iconic rainbow flag, created entirely by 6,000 international passengers’ kisses. Each passenger placed their own individual kiss onto the crowd-sourced artwork, to show their own support for LGBT+ rights.

The flag started life in Terminal 2 on 1st July, positioned in departures, with passengers able to get involved and donate their mark of love for Pride by stamping their kiss in a choice of vibrant red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple lipstick, onto the blank canvas.

The artwork was quickly populated, with 84,303 passengers passing through the terminal, taking 6,000 kisses to be completed, with the final kisses donated by staff across the airport’s terminals as it took a tour of the control tower, fire station and BA Crew Centre, before being sealed and placed on the flag pole.

Now complete, the flag has been flown outside Terminal 2 and will remain on display until the end of the month for passengers to enjoy and capture on camera as they travel through the airport.

The Heathrow Pride takeover also sees the Heathrow logo receive a Pride makeover and digital screens across the airport transformed into vibrant displays of rainbow colours.

Gay Star News competition helps find faces of Heathrow Pride

Leading the celebrations was the Heathrow Proud Network, an internal colleague group that works together to make a difference to the experience of LGBT+ colleagues and to promote a level playing field of opportunity.

To celebrate Pride London, Heathrow has commissioned a unique interpretation of the iconic rainbow flag, created entirely by 6,000 international passengers’ kisses. Each passenger placed their own individual kiss onto the crowd-sourced artwork, to show their own support for LGBT+ rights.

The group has run a competition with Gay Star News, to find the new faces of Heathrow whose images take pride of place across the terminals.

The winners, all members of the LGBT+ community, include; Nicola Dumbleton, Security Manager at Heathrow; Steph Constantinides, Facilitator at Heathrow; Nikki Hayden, Transgender Activist; Mark Small/Vanity Nightmare, London Drag Queen; Ricky Tanna, Pride Performer and Adam Lee Mroz, from Gaymers Inc, an LGBT gaming community.

Carol Hui, Chief of Staff at Heathrow Airport commented,” We’ve been getting into the spirit of Pride right across the airport to show our support for London and the rest of the UK, where diversity and equality are so strongly celebrated and equally valued across our employees and passengers alike.”

“Many of the LGBT+ community travel into London, to celebrate this incredible festival so we wanted to give them a warm welcome by, quite literally, flying the flag for Pride.”

To celebrate Pride London, Heathrow has commissioned a unique interpretation of the iconic rainbow flag, created entirely by 6,000 international passengers’ kisses. Each passenger placed their own individual kiss onto the crowd-sourced artwork, to show their own support for LGBT+ rights.

For many years, my identity has been the talking point for many people. Apparently, I don’t fit in the ‘female’ appearance box. But if I was to step back and give myself advice, it would be to stand tall and never change YOU for anyone. What better way to stand tall than become the face of Proud Heathrow?

Steph Constantinides, Heathrow

The Heathrow Proud Network will also be taking part in the Pride in London parade on Saturday 7th July.

Heathrow

By Heathrow

Published 5th July 2018