The airport manager Aena has achieved the maximum five-star score for six airports in its network in the ‘Covid-19 Safety Ratings’ program of the prestigious Skytrax consultancy dedicated to conducting quality studies in the aeronautical field, analyzing more than 550 airports and 525 airlines of all the world. The six Spanish airports with the highest score are Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat, Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández, Málaga-Costa del Sol, Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife North-Ciudad de la Laguna This is the only program specifically conceived for the airport sector. The auditors have particularly highlighted the quality of the sanitary controls, the communication of the measures implemented and the access controls. Only 17 airports in the world have the 5 stars, the highest Skytrax score, and six of them are those that have recently obtained it and belong to the Aena network. In the EU there is only the aerodrome Rome-Fiumiccino and Malta.
The qualification obtained is five stars ‘very high standards’, the maximum awarded and is added to the accreditations of “Safe Airports’. The ‘Covid-19 Safety Ratings’ program is the only program worldwide designed specifically for the airport sector. The visits have been carried out in person by a group of auditors who have visited the six airports and have inspected the measures implemented by Aena to guarantee the safety of passengers and workers in the face of the health situation. In these audits, they evaluate up to 175 different security protocols introduced in response to the COVID pandemic to reduce risk and improve the well-being of passengers and airport workers.
Among the aspects that have been audited are the informational signage, the application of measures to restrict access to the terminals, the covid testing facilities (test clinics) and the application and signage of social distancing. Sanitary controls, the requirement for the use of masks by passengers, the availability and visibility of hydroalcoholic gel devices and sale of PPE, air flow and air filters are also assessed.improved entilation in terminal, the cleaning and monitoring of public areas, bathrooms, restaurant areas, among other aspects.
Skytrax auditors have highlighted five strengths of the six airports, such as health control, which are among the best in Europe; access control, procedures and operations of VIP lounges, andl ‘Covid Protection Team‘and clear, consistent and abundant communication and image, considered “among the best in Europe”.
The Skytrax accreditation is considered a world reference to define the guarantee of safe travel for clients and a maximum recognition of the effectiveness of the hygiene and security measures implemented at airports.
Aena has implemented more than 100 safety, hygiene and sanitary control measures designed to protect and guarantee the health and safety of passengers and workers Among these measures are cleaning and disinfection, ventilation, hydroalcoholic gel dispensers, mandatory use of a mask, protective screens, footprints and bands on the floor marking the safety distance, signage, public address system, contactless elements, continuous passenger information, among others,
These measures are contemplated in the company’s Operational Recovery Plan, including those directed directly to passengers, operational and organizational.
In addition, since 2020, Aena collaborates with the Ministry of Health and the Autonomous Communities to carry out health checks for arrival passengers at airports and this year has allocated spaces for the installation of diagnostic test clinics at various airports in the network for departure passengers.
These six airports also have the certification of the Airport Health Accreditation of the Airports Council International (ACI), as part of the thirty airports in the Aena network that already have it. This program assesses compliance with the sanitary measures recommended by ACI, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The manager ensures that Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) demonstrates the company’s ongoing commitment “to the measures adopted for the safety of employees and passengers as a result of the pandemic, with the aim of regaining the confidence of travelers in transport aerial”.
Aena assures that, with the Airport Health Accreditation of the Airports Council International (ACI) and now the Skytrax accreditation, which audits the passenger experience, it is confirmed that “the measures implemented by Aena in its airports not only comply with the regulations in force in Spain and the international criteria of the airports, but an independent entity certifies that the passenger experience reaches the maximum score “.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.