More airports around the world receive COVID-19 Safety Ratings

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The gradual re-opening of country borders in some regions has enabled Skytrax to complete COVID-19 Airport Safety Audits at airports in Central and South America and parts of the Middle East, with airports in Asia to be included from January 2021.

The COVID-19 Airport Safety Ratings require Skytrax audit teams to physically visit and evaluate each airport, and a key challenge in recent months has been the difficulty in entering many countries, and it is now encouraging to see more borders being opened and an increasing use of PCR testing for arrivals. 25 airports in Europe have been COVID-19 safety assessed, with 10 more to be added before the year end.

Most recently, El Dorado International Airport in Bogota and Hamad International Airport, Doha have achieved the highest 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating, Dubai International Airport received the 4-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating, with Panama Tocumen Airport, Sao Paulo Guarulhos Airport and Rio de Janeiro Galeão Airport all certified with the 3-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating.

CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA

Leading this region is the recently announced 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating for El Dorado International Airport in Bogota, Colombia.

El Dorado International Airport has implemented a broad portfolio of measures to ensure customer and staff safety during the global pandemic and the airport impressed with the consistency that has been achieved in this short time. In addition to one of the broadest rollouts of extra hand hygiene facilities that the audit team have observed at any airport assessed so far, this is being strong supplemented with enhanced terminal cleaning, and stringent control of terminal access and social distancing.”

Brazil’s Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport has been certified with the 3-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating.

Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport has introduced various new procedures and services during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the consistency and application across some of these areas is lacking the required or expected consistency. Face mask usage is not well applied or controlled, and whilst hand sanitisers and social distancing markings have been provided, these fall below the standards expected for the airport to meet a 3-Star COVID-19 Safety Rating level. Enhanced cleanliness was also lacking in some areas and falling below expectations.

Also in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport has been certified with the 3-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating.

Rio de Janeiro International Airport has taken a number of steps to ensure correct protection and safeguarding against COVID-19. Queue systems in particular have been altered to permit social distancing, from check-in, to security and immigration. Digital signage referencing the main rules for passengers to adhere to is only in the Portuguese language, whilst the degree of marshalling and proactive management by airport staff is weak. A number of areas of the airport are in need of more robust cleaning processes and washrooms remain dated with poor airflow. 

Tocumen International Airport in Panama City has also been certified with the 3-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating.

Tocumen International Airport has implemented some new protocols relating to social distancing and hand hygiene, in addition to requiring all customers and staff to wear face masks. While face mask use is reasonably consistent and well-enforced, the overall scope of public information relating to COVID-19 safe practices, social distancing marking, and hand sanitisation facilities is not at the quantity required to meet 4-Star. This is in addition to some weak cleanliness standards noted and a generally grubby appearance in the terminal area.

MIDDLE EAST

Doha’s Hamad International Airport has is the first airport in the Middle East to be certified with the 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating.

Hamad International Airport has achieved great success in delivering COVID-19 protocols that are providing a safe environment for customers and staff. In areas such as hand hygiene and social distancing, the airport has good procedures in place. The airport is also meeting high standards of sanitisation across the high-contact points. The consistency of COVID-19 safety procedures and systems is excellent, and this were a critical factor behind Hamad International Airport achieving the 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating.

Dubai International Airport has been certified with the 4-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating.

Dubai International Airport introduced a wide range of measures to keep customers and staff safe in the airport environment during the coronavirus pandemic . COVID-19 safe policies are robust for the main items of social distancing guidance and information and hand hygiene. There are concerns relating to the consistency of enforcing social distancing in busier terminal areas, and similarly, face coverings are not always correctly used by customers and staff. While cleanliness and presentation of terminal spaces has been improved, the audit detected variation in standards through the airport, and the monitoring of food and beverages outlet cleanliness should be reinforced.

About the COVID-19 Airport Safety Ratings

The COVID-19 Airport Safety Ratings are based on an amalgam of procedural efficiency checks, visual observation analysis and ATP sampling tests, with consistency being a key determinant in the final rating applied. To ensure transparency, accuracy and consistency, COVID-19 Airport Safety Ratings are based on scientific study and analysis by the Skytrax Airport Audit team, and involve no element of self-testing or evaluation by an airport. Credible COVID-19 airport ratings and accreditation require actual testing, analysis and evaluation, supported by an in-depth experience of specialist airport auditing.

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By Skytrax

Skytrax are specialist research advisors to the air transport industry. Dedicated to improving the customer experience for airlines and airports across the world. Skytrax delivers expertise and innovative thinking to encourage change.

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