Major UK airports, including Manchester, have been criticised for their disability access in an annual report.

The Civil Aviation Authority rated Manchester as poor for the help it gives disabled passengers. Gatwick, Stansted and Birmingham have also been told to improve.

The report said some disabled people were waiting on planes at Manchester for an hour for assistance. The target time for help is 20 minutes.

The CAA said 16 of Britain’s 30 airports had ‘very good’ services. The largest UK airport, Heathrow, was rated good.

There are three million requests a year for assistance from disabled passengers, with demand growing at 10 per cent a year.

A Manchester Airport spokesman said: “We acknowledge the findings of the CAA’s Accessibility Report and are committed to making further improvements to ensure we meet the required standards for passengers who require special assistance.”

The issue hit the headlines earlier this year when BBC reporter Frank Gardner tweeted about his experience waiting on a plane at Heathrow after his wheelchair disappeared.

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