The ABM team responsible for providing special assistance services for passengers travelling through Manchester Airport has received a top award

ABM, which provides PRM (passenger with reduced mobility) services to airports across the UK, gave its overall company award to its Manchester team. Chosen from 40 nominees, the awards ceremony took place in London following five regional events around the UK & Ireland.

As well as the main “One ABM” award, the Manchester PRM team also took home a “Team of the Year” prize. The awards were given in recognition of the outstanding achievements the team has delivered over the past year.

In September 2023 the special assistance team experienced the busiest month in its history, with more passengers than ever before travelling with assistance requirements. Despite the increased footfall, the team met 98% of its pre-booked passengers within ten minutes of arrival. The performance puts the team on track to retain the ‘Very Good’ rating (the highest category) it received from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in 2023.

Michelle Baxter, general manager at ABM, said: “Airports are melting pots of emotions with goodbyes, reunions and the excitement of holiday all experienced there daily. This is especially true for those travelling with special assistance requirements who will already have some level of nervousness about their journey: the service our PRM teams deliver is of the utmost importance.

“With record volumes of passengers with reduced mobility travelling through the airport – not all of whom are pre-booked for assistance – the team’s performance is commendable. We have a duty of care to understand the needs of passengers travelling with reduced mobility and hidden disabilities and our Manchester PRM team has demonstrated excellence in those services.”

The team’s success included an investment from ABM in its PRM operations. After a nationwide safety audit was undertaken, two significant opportunities were identified to mitigate the risk of wheelchair incidents. As a result, ABM purchased 300 new lap strap belts and a new training method was introduced to better simulate weight shift when using an aisle chair.

New wheelchairs and buggies were also introduced and an electric minibus will arrive in time for the summer peak. In addition, two new Aviogei Thunderlifts 6000Es have been deployed at Manchester Airport. The fully electric boarding vehicle offers enhanced comfort and safety with its newly designed cabin and state-of-the-art safety technology.