The first airports in Russia to be Certified with the 5-Star COVID-19 Safety Rating
by Skytrax: London, UK
Platov International Airport, Koltsovo International Airport, and Kurumoch International Airport are the first airports in Russia to each be Certified with the 5-Star COVID-19 Safety Rating, by international air transport rating agency Skytrax. This Safety Accreditation is regarded as a global benchmark for defining safe travel assurance for customers.
Koltsovo Airport in Ekaterinburg, Kurumoch Airport in Samara and Platov Airport in Rostov-on-Don are operated by Airports of Regions (AR) which is the leading airport management company in Russia. The 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating is a top recognition of the effectiveness of the hygiene and safety measures introduced by Airports of Regions to protect their customers and staff against the spread of coronavirus.
Airports of Regions three airports with the highest 5-Star COVID-19 Safety Rating
The COVID-19 audits were conducted in March and April 2021, evaluating over 175 safety protocols introduced by Airports of Regions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to enhance customer and staff safety. The audits include assessment of each airport’s implementation of health, hygiene, and safety measures in accordance with the recommendations of the ICAO Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Aviation Health Safety Protocol.
Evgeniy Chudnovskiy, CEO of Airports of Regions, said: “We take the safety of our passengers and employees very seriously. Throughout the past year, we have been constantly studying international practices in this area and introducing the most effective solutions and complex measures to protect our passengers and staff members. It is crucial for us to ensure traveling via our airports minimizes the risk of COVID-19 infection.”
Domestic passenger demand within Russia remains reasonably robust, and Koltsovo, Kurumoch, and Platov Airports continue to see growing international leisure travel to countries such as Turkey, Cyprus, Tanzania, and the United Arab Emirates.
Edward Plaisted of Skytrax said: “Airports of Regions have designed and implemented a very consistent and extensive range of COVID-19 safety protocols at these airports that has enabled them to achieve the highest level, 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating, The branding strength and visibility of COVID-19 information signage and distancing indicators is commendable. Each of these airports operates very vigorous cleaning and disinfection measures across all major touchpoints. All of the COVID-19 measures introduced at these airports have a high focus on encouraging facemask usage, hand hygiene, and physical distancing, and we congratulate Airports of Regions for delivering these changes in such a clear and consistent manner and achieving some of the best COVID-19 branding we have observed.”
COVID-19 standards & protocols at Rostov-on-Don, Ekaterinburg and Samara Airports
The COVID signage used by Airports of Regions has contrasting yellow and black colours and easy-to-understand pictograms that help customers find the necessary information throughout the airport terminals.
Some of the key COVID-19 measures introduced at Platov Airport, Koltsovo Airport, and Kurumoch Airport include:
⦿ Contactless body temperature scanning is used at the terminal entrances, at pre-flight security checkpoints, at international and domestic arrivals. Pre-departure, passengers can have their baggage disinfected and wrapped.
⦿ Non-contact hand sanitiser stations are installed at all functional areas of the airports, and the operational efficiency and content of all sanitisers are checked every 3 hours by airport staff. All toilets are equipped with non-contact taps, dispensers and hand dryers. Contactless sanitisers are installed at each toilet block, and toilet cleaning and disinfection is conducted every 30 minutes.
⦿ Customers are assisted during their journey through the airport by a team of Covid marshals who monitor and control social distancing factors, face mask usage and contactless check-in processes.
⦿ The trays at security checkpoints, all baggage trolleys and wheelchairs for passengers with impaired mobility are treated with special disinfectants after each use.
⦿ Contact surfaces cleanliness is controlled by the airport staff using luminometer and ATP tests, and if the permissible RLU index is exceeded, the cleaning is repeated. Additional air disinfection is provided by airflow cleaners-recirculators using UV-rays in all areas of the airport terminals. Escalator handrails are disinfected using a UV sterilisation device inside the handrail mechanism.
⦿ Customers can purchase face masks, gloves and sanitisers from vending machines at the terminal entrance to each of these airports (vending machines are equipped with contactless payment devices). Inside the terminals, individual Disinfection booths are available for customers to sanitise clothes and other items.
⦿ All passenger buses are cleaned and disinfected after each use and have sanitisers and health and safety markers as well as social distancing signage.
⦿ All staff working at the airport undergo mandatory pre-shift medical examinations, and a campaign is underway to vaccinate employees, primarily contact area personnel.
⦿ Inside the terminals, regular PA announcements are made to advise customers to wear a face mask at all times, to keep social distancing, that they can take COVID tests at the airport or sign up for one via QR code, and they can purchase personal protection equipment in vending machines in all areas of the terminal.
⦿ Sanitisers and information signage on the need to observe social distancing are placed on the bus stops. Car parking has contactless entrance systems, and drivers do not have to touch the parking equipment, the parking card is issued automatically. Contactless parking payment can be made in the APS units or at the parking exit.
⦿ Each of these airports provides Covid-19 test stations with excellent standards of signage for the facilities. Test results (in Russian and English) are sent by e-mail within 24 hours or 8 hours for the express test.
Airports of Regions has worked with commercial partners at Platov International Airport, Koltsovo International Airport, and Kurumoch International Airport to ensure that the latest contactless ordering and payment systems are available in retail and dining outlets, and importantly, cleaning and hygiene measures have been standardised and subject to consistent monitoring checks.
The COVID-19 Safety Rating evaluates airport facilities and service to determine how effectively and consistently COVID-19 procedures are being provided, and assessment areas include terminal cleanliness, cleaning and disinfection procedures, standard and usage conformity of staff personal protective equipment, branding, standard and application of social distancing signage, floor markers and seat distancing, hand sanitiser facilities, airport PA guidance, organisation and control of passenger flows around the airport, security screening hygiene systems, general passenger facilities (e.g. baggage trolleys) and control of social distancing and face mask usage.
COVID-19 Airport Safety Ratings place high importance on the implementation of face mask regulations and monitoring of social distance adherence amongst staff and customers and how airports apply these measures. Airport cleaning efficiency includes evaluating cleaning systems and equipment, cleaning staff numbers, and if sanitisation is regularly validated using ATP testing.
A 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating recognises very high standards of airport cleanliness and maintenance procedures. Airports achieving 5-Star deliver many Best Practice systems of cleanliness and hygiene monitoring, and most importantly, these protocols are adhered to consistently. In addition to excellent visual cleanliness and terminal presentation standards, 5-Star COVID-19 Airports may use new techniques for UV sanitisation and mass disinfectant treatments which are scientifically evaluated.
ABOUT AIRPORTS OF REGIONS
Airports of Regions is a leading airport group in Russia. The company implements projects with a volume of private investments exceeding $ 1.1 billion. Today the Airports of Regions includes Koltsovo International Airport (Ekaterinburg), Kurumoch International Airport (Samara), Strigino International Airport (Nizhny Novgorod), Platov International Airport (Rostov-On-Don) and Gagarin International Airport (Saratov). The management company also implements projects of reconstruction of two airports – in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Novy Urengoy. The joint passenger traffic of Airports of Regions in 2019 amounted to 15.5 million people.
Skytrax is the International air transport rating organisation established in 1989 and based in London, United Kingdom. In 2020, Skytrax launched the COVID-19 Safety Ratings covering airports across the world, providing independent, expert evaluation and certification of airport COVID-19 hygiene and safety measures. The Skytrax COVID-19 Safety Accreditation is regarded as a global benchmark for defining safe travel assurance for customers.