George Best Belfast City Airport has today announced the launch of a scheme to aid passengers travelling with hidden disabilities, such as autism, anxiety or dementia.

The scheme will allow passengers to acquire a special lanyard, which alerts airport staff that they may need additional time or consideration when travelling through the airport.

Several airports in the UK already use similar schemes, such as the Sunflower Lanyards in Heathrow Airport, which also alert staff that the passenger may require additional assistance.

Passengers are encouraged to keep the lanyards, allowing them to be used every time they travel for ease.

Stephen Patton, Human Resources and Corporate Responsibility Manager at Belfast City Airport, said:

“We always try to ensure our passengers journey through the airport exceeds their expectations and while we already offer full assistance to those with reduced mobility, the introduction of these lanyards will ensure those with hidden disabilities are facilitated for.

“The lanyards will alert airport employees to those passengers who may require discreet assistance, giving them additional time to not only get through security, but across the entire airport.”

The introduction of the scheme has ensured that all staff are trained to provide any additional assistance which may be required not only to adults, but to children as well.

Nicola Farmbrough, the station manager of CCS at Belfast City Airport, who assist passengers with disabilities through the terminal, said:

“Our team has been trained to use clear language and to avoid separating those travelling with the lanyards from their friends or family. They are aware of the importance of discretion and want to ensure that Belfast City Airport is accessible for all.”