Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has welcomed the installation of seating at Aberdeen airport for use by Northern Isles patients waiting to check in for flights back home.
Patients travelling between Orkney and Aberdeen for hospital appointments have previously raised a number of concerns about the lack of accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility or passengers who may require specific assistance.
Mr McArthur has been engaged in long-running discussions with the airport operators as well as Loganair about where improvements might be made. With a £20m redevelopment of the airport underway, Mr McArthur has argued that it is an ideal time to take forward this work.
Commenting, Orkney MSP Liam McArthur said:
“Obviously, many of those from the islands travelling to and from Aberdeen by air are attending hospital appointments. From feedback over the years, I know there are concerns about the facilities available to airport users, particularly those with mobility issues or who are feeling unwell.
“With the redevelopment of the airport, I have long argued there is an opportunity to make improvements that will address some of these concerns.
“For example, I know that some passengers struggle to cope with standing in a queue for long periods. Having raised this with the airport and Loganair, I am pleased that a decision has been taken to install seating near the Flybe check-in desks. Hopefully this will allow a bit more comfort for those who need it.
“By the same token, these same passengers are often waiting quite some time at security. This is another area where I am pressing for changes to be made.
“I also firmly believe there is a need to have a room or space close to the departure gates, which allows patients who feel unwell to have a bit of privacy or even a chance to lie down. I understand that such a facility used to be available and I would like to see something of this sort reintroduced.
“For now, however, the additional seating is a very welcome step forward”.