The UK aviation regulator is highlighting efforts to help promote greater accessibility to flying to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities today.

The Civil Aviation Authority also aims to increase awareness of the needs of those with hidden disabilities.

The CAA is ensuring the UK aviation industry follow regulations and guidelines so that passengers with accessibility needs can experience air travel in a way that treats them with dignity and respect.

The authority is the first aviation regulator in the world to put in place an annual review of how UK airports support people with disabilities as part of a framework for accessibility.

CAA guidance for frontline staff was updated this year to help better identify people with hidden disabilities who may otherwise go unnoticed, such as those who may be hard of hearing, suffer dementia or are autistic.

More than three million people a year request assistance, an increase of 80% since 2010.

CAA consumers and markets director Paul Smith said: “Our work has a truly international dimension, so it’s right we support the United Nation’s annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

“We will continue to prioritise access to air travel and maintain close co-operation with disability organisations and the aviation industry to ensure people continue to receive the assistance they need.”