Independent Gatwick Accessibility Panel
The airport's Independent Gatwick Accessibility Panel (IGAP) is made up of experts in the travel needs of disabled passengers and people with reduced mobility.
Members of the panel are listed below:
Ann Frye (Chair)
Ann is an international specialist in meeting the transport needs of disabled and older people. She advises public, commercial and professional bodies on policy solutions to meet mobility needs across all transport modes and the pedestrian environment.
Ann has a particular focus in the aviation field. She was a member of the CAA Consumer Panel from 2012 to 2018 and is currently a member of easyJet’s Special Assistance Advisory Group (ESAAG) as well as advising Gatwick Airport on training and other PRM issues. She is a frequent lecturer at the European Law Academy (ERA) on courses for judges and lawyers on Passenger Rights in the aviation field.
She chaired the ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference) sub-group on PRMs from 1996 to 2011 and led their work on the development of best practice (ECAC Doc 30) which provides statutory guidance on Regulation 1107/2006 on the rights of disabled air travellers. She continues to work closely with the European Commission and the European Disability Forum on legal and best practice issues in aviation.
Ann has developed and delivered training to transport professionals including airports, airline cabin crew and pilots and call centre staff dealing with PRM bookings. She has also delivered training to European National Enforcement Bodies.
Ann has worked in this field for over 30 years; until 2006 she headed the Mobility & Inclusion Unit in the UK Government Department for Transport where she worked to deliver a major programme of research, legislation and policy to promote the mobility of disabled and older people in all public transport modes including aviation.
She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (FCILT), of the Institution of Highways and Transportation (FCIHT) and an honorary Transport Planning Professional (TPP).
Ann is an Independent Transport Access Advisor working in both the Aviation and Rail fields. At present she is Chair of the PRM committee on the Passenger Advisory Group at Gatwick Airport, A member of the ESSAG at Easyjet and the advisory group at the CAA in Aviation.
She has a long history of advising government bodies from Transport Focus to DPTAC (deputy Chair and Rail Chair for 10 years) where she advised on the Rail Access for All programme and the change to EU legislation from UK. In aviation she has advised various airports and their appointed ground handlers on making a success of the implementation of EU 1107 that ensures passengers with both visible and invisible disabilities have a seamless journey through the airport.
Ann has been involved in development and testing many new developments in the airport environment, including the quickly expanding IT environment at all stages of the passenger journey, hoping to ensure that things remain as inclusive as possible.
Ann has used an electric wheelchair for many years and has a significant hearing loss.
Ross has spinal muscular atrophy which since 16 has confined him to an electric wheelchair. He has been an avid traveller all his life when he regularly visited twice per year from Gatwick with his family between the ages 8-20. Working full-time since graduating from University in 2001 Ross has continued to travel the world using his disposable income to visit warmer climates. He is a regular flyer with Virgin and easyJet and has experience with other airlines including Cyprus Air, BA and Singapore Airlines.
Ross travels with carers, his permobile wheelchair, mobile hoist and other equipment. He has worked with Virgin on improving their disability knowledge following constructive feedback after a bad flight.
Ross is knowledgeable about access and disability working for the Lloyds Banking Group as their accessibility manager. He is also a co-chair of a inter financial accessibility and disability network.
Sue is the Deputy CEO at the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC), a national charity supporting vision impaired children, young people and their families.
Before joining the third sector in 2006, Sue worked in the field of transport and disability both domestically and internationally for almost 20 years as a lead member of the Department for Transport’s disability policy team.
Sue is currently a member of the Government’s statutory advisory body, the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC).
Sue is not herself visually impaired but will be accompanied on the panel by a young visually impaired person as a training and mentoring exercise and to get their direct feedback on air travel.
Kamran has worked in the voluntary sector for over 20 years and for the last 15 years running user led organisations. He worked for Aspire and as CEO of Action on Disability. Since 2017 he has been CEO of Disability Rights UK. He has served on various boards of third sector organisations and was also a member of Transport for London’s Independent Disability Advisory Group for three years.
Kamran contracted polio as a child and is a wheelchair user. His experiences at both special and mainstream schools showed him that inclusive education for all children is essential. He is driven to make sure younger disabled people have better opportunities than he did.
At Action on Disability, Kamran transformed its youth service to mainstream settings and supporting inclusive activities. He built up a programme of supported internships for young people with learning difficulties, ensuring that they had real opportunities to work. He secured the long-term viability of the charity by negotiating a purpose-built office funded by the social housing above.
Kamran is listed in the Shaw Trusts 2018 Power 100 list of Britain’s most influential disabled people. He was the runner up in the Vodafone Diversity Campaigner award 2017 and winner of Celebrating Diversity award from London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham’s in their inaugural Civic Honour awards 2017.
Board positions: Current - Lyric Theatre and Wheels for Wellbeing. Past: Inclusion London, Candoco Dance Company.
Geraldine has worked for over 20 years in the aviation industry enabling people with disabilities to fly as safely and comfortably as possible.
In recent years she has influenced Virgin Atlantic to introduce accessible IFE and ensure their customer facing staff assist passengers with hidden disabilities; either recognising airport initiatives or Virgin Atlantic’s own symbol.
Her passion for this has led her to be recognised as a subject matter expert in this area around the globe. Although huge advances have been made in recent years there are still many improvements that can be initiated.
Geraldine is committed to working with others in the industry to improve processes, procedures, equipment and training further so that air travel becomes as pleasant and accessible for as many people as possible.
Neil’s onset of arthritis at the age of three had a serious impact on his childhood. He has focused most of his career on representing the interests of disabled people and people with long term conditions in the UK and Europe. In 2011 he set up Neil Betteridge Associates (UK), offering service user insight and perspective into international initiatives.
For six years he served as Chair of DPTAC, the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, the official advisory body to the UK Dept for Transport, addressing access and many other disability issues in the context of aviation, rail, road transport and personal mobility.
He is a long-standing member of the Executive Committee of EULAR, the European rheumatology society, acting as EULAR's Liaison Officer for Public Affairs; and has previously twice been its Vice President, representing the European patient group network.
He also sits on the International Co-ordinating Council of the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health; acts as adviser to the European Alliance for Patient Access (EAfPA), which organises policy discussions on issues around access to treatments; Co-Chairs the UK Chronic Pain Policy Coalition; and was a Patient Adviser to NHS England on Specialised Pain Services. Formerly he was CEO of Arthritis Care; Chair of the UK umbrella body for rheumatic diseases, ARMA; Strategic Adviser to the British Society for Rheumatology; Patient Adviser at the Royal College of Physicians; and has been a UK ministerial adviser on both health and disability issues.
As Autism Friendly Development Manager at the National Autistic Society Daniel has, for the past four years, worked with businesses and venues to support and advise on how they can better address the needs of autistic people and their families.
Key to this work has been developing the Autism Friendly Award scheme, which has now been active for three years, has over 150 individual sites signed up a further two chains that boast over 1000 retail branches.
Award holders range from sport stadia, airports to leisure centres, malls and theatres, to small high street shops and council offices. Daniel has personally overseen the development and growth of the award as well as advising and supporting venues and delivering training to colleagues of different backgrounds.
Daniel has previously worked at The College of Social Work managing their corporate membership scheme and working between them and councils to support social work staff.
Supporting this he spent two years volunteering for Radio Lollipop at Great Ormond Street, visiting children and their families each week to play games, make crafts and generally be a happy face.
Sophia is a retired Paralympic track athlete having competed for GB from 1998 – 2014 in the 100m and the 200m. Sophia has a wealth of experience in making the most seemingly inaccessible possible for all disabilities after setting up the Superhero Series in 2016 which is the UK’s first and only fully accessible sports series for people with disabilities and their friends and families. These events have seen over 10,000 disabled people take part in triathlons, cycles, swims etc. for the first time ever.
Using her own experiences of sport and the challenges of having cerebral palsy she has worked with numerous disability groups and charities to find solutions to the biggest challenges posed by people’s disabilities.
Sophia is currently a member of ESAAG – the easyJet accessibility advisory group. Sophia regularly uses Gatwick Airport for both business and domestic travel. Along with her own personal travel experiences, Sophia also has experience of being a disabled traveller with two young children.
Her ambition is to make the things that she enjoys the most i.e. travel and sport, possible to be enjoyed by anyone regardless of the challenges they face.