Malaga Airport is the first airport in Europe to receive the COVID-19 Airport Rating
By Peter Miller, Skytrax – London, UK
Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport is the first airport in Europe to receive the COVID-19 Airport Rating, being certified with the 3-Star COVID-19 Airport Rating. Malaga Airport is the fourth busiest airport in Spain, handling just under 20 million customers in 2019, but the impact of coronavirus and quarantine measures by many countries has seen passenger numbers fall dramatically. Skytrax noted very low terminal usage during the COVID-19 Airport audit assessments in July and August.
Skytrax COVID-19 Airport Ratings are based on an amalgam of procedural efficiency checks, visual observation analysis and ATP sampling tests, with consistency of standards being a key determinant in the final assessment.
Edward Plaisted of Skytrax said: “Our COVID-19 Airport Ratings focus on the real standards in place and being achieved by airport, rather than simply looking at the stated or theoretical areas. Airports around the world have introduced new and enhanced health and safety measures to reduce risk and offer another layer of reassurance to customers and staff, and this is commendable. Our task is to evaluate the on-site success and quality in practice of such measures from an independent and professional viewpoint. We are fully aware of the challenges and crisis facing airports worldwide, but to ensure that customers receive the safest experience at the airport, it is critical that the stated health and safety measures are correctly delivered, and this requires adequate staff resources to achieve this. Our scientific analysis is based on ATP testing of high contact areas in public areas of the airport, and the key rating analysis evaluates adherence to stated COVID-19 safety procedures by an airport. This covers items such as means of control for social distancing, policing passenger-only terminal access, the regularity and standards of cleaning and disinfection in busy areas, washrooms etc.”
Skytrax evaluate and rate the reality of COVID-19 procedures at each airport
The 3-Star COVID-19 Airport Rating indicates an average standard of airport cleanliness and maintenance procedures. Airports achieving 3-Star may have stated Best Practice systems for cleanliness but do not apply the necessary cleaning and hygiene protocols on a regular or consistent basis.
Airports certified with the 3-Star COVID-19 Airport Rating deliver reasonable visual cleanliness and terminal presentation standards, in addition to disinfection and hygiene measures that deliver a 60% pass rate during scientific validation. The control and imposition of social distancing and customer facemask usage requirements are also key items under evaluation.
Skytrax COVID-19 Airport Rating is currently being conducted at European airports, with further Rating announcements to be made in due course.