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Covid-19 | Airport Reopening Checklist

Use this Airport Reopening Checklist to implement and monitor your hygiene and safety measures at the airport for reopening.

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Why are checklists important for an airport reopening?

In the middle of the current corona pandemic, the aviation industry suffered one of the biggest setbacks in its history. As most of the world has agreed on strict quarantine and hygiene measures to flatten the infection curve until a vaccine is developed and ready for use, non-essential international travel is prohibited in multiple destinations.

Step by step, the situation relaxes. However, passenger flights that receive the green light must comply with social distancing and other safety and hygiene measures following Covid-19 guidelines. For the airlines, this means that their aircraft cannot be used to their capacity limits.

The reopening of the airports and thus of air traffic is, despite everything, for most airlines, a start back into the business and averting a complete bankruptcy. All of them have suffered extreme financial losses since the Corona lockdown and have had to rely on financial aid from the state. A quick return to air traffic is necessary for them.

Checklists for airport reopening help airport operators and companies to implement necessary hygiene and security measures quickly and consistently - even after reopening. With their support, the responsible personnel can easily check whether all measures have been implemented and are being observed. In this way, the operators and companies can minimise the risk of infection for travellers and employees.

This article informs about the following topics:

1. ICAO guidelines for the reopening of airports

2. Content of an airport reopening checklist

3. A digital solution for checklists

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ICAO guidelines for reopening

The International Civil Aviation Organization (International Air Transport Association - ICAO) is the global aviation authority of the United Nations, which develops international standards and recommendations for civil aviation (SARPs) in cooperation with its 193 member states. In addition to a special section with a wealth of information on Covid-19 in aviation, ICAO has published a airport module, which contains specific guidelines for the reopening of an airport in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some excerpts from it, you will find below:

ICAO specifies that the airport health authority, the airport operator and their service providers must draw up a written plan for improved cleaning and disinfection following the standard operating procedures of the WHO Aviation Hygiene and Sanitation Manual. This plan must be updated as soon as new information becomes available, in terms of procedures, timetable and products.

Cleaning and disinfection of the terminal infrastructure and all equipment must be carried out regularly. The frequency is derived from the traffic and use that arises and must be increased as necessary based on the above plan. The cleaning and disinfection products approved by the authorities must be available at all times, so their stock should be increased.

The entire cleaning and disinfection personnel must be informed about the cleaning and disinfection plan and adhere to it. It must be ensured that staff use the products effectively and clean and disinfect areas with high contact density and risk of contamination according to the plan. Personnel must be provided with the appropriate PPE and undergo regular health checks.

The physical distance rules (at least 1.5 metres) must also be observed at the airport. Passengers must wear masks during their entire stay in the airport terminal. Only airport staff, passengers and necessary accompanying persons are allowed to access the airport, which facilitates the implementation of distance rules and reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Whenever possible, passengers should be encouraged to complete check-in procedures before arriving at the airport. Online check-in, mobile boarding pass, baggage tagging outside the airport and other initiatives help reduce contact with airport staff and infrastructure.

A particularly sensitive area in the airport is the security control. It is hardly possible to keep your distance here the whole time. Nevertheless, controllers and passengers should keep physical distance as far as possible or wear the appropriate PPE to reduce the risk of exposure. Markings on the floor and information signs are an additional help.

The points listed are only extracted from the ICAO guidelines, which cover a total of eight areas. In addition, many of the measures they mention must be adapted by the respective airport operator to regional specifics. Cooperation with stakeholders in the community is also recommended by the aviation authority to ensure that the travelling public is informed in a timely and accurate manner.

Content of an airport reopening checklist: This belongs in

Some airports have remained in operation, reducing more than half of their original flight capacity, practising social distancing and implementing new hygiene and protection measures. The same precautions will be applied to the airports that are now about to reopen. The following measures will enable airport operators and airlines to use checklists to minimise the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission during flight operations.

Thorough cleaning of facilities, equipment and aircraft

Cleaning and disinfection is the order of the day. Before an airport reopens, the entire facility, especially the areas with high public traffic and high occupancy rates, must be thoroughly cleaned. These surfaces and areas must first be cleaned with a suitable detergent before being treated with an effective disinfectant. Areas with high contact density are:

  1. Ticket and information desk
  2. Waiting rooms
  3. Security check
  4. Toilets
  5. Shops and restaurants in the terminal (tables, utensils etc.)
  6. Checked baggage
  7. Baggage reclaim area/carousel
  8. Airplane seats and tray tables
  9. Cockpits
  10. Cabin crew sleeping quarters
  11. viewing platform
  12. Control towers

It is best to use disposable wipes when wiping surfaces and areas to avoid cross-contamination. Cleaning personnel should wear appropriate PPE during cleaning and disinfection procedures.

You can actually check and download our Covid-19 reopening facility template to help you verify that the airport has been cleaned and disinfected properly.

health checks for all all employees

Airlines can increase the safety of their employees and their passengers by subjecting their employees to a COVID 19 test before they are allowed to return to work. Apart from being highly contagious, some COVID-19 infections are also known to be asymptomatic, which means that a medical test is the only completely safe way to determine if a person is carrying the coronavirus. Employees whose test is positive are not allowed to return to work and must be placed in domestic quarantine.

Protective measures outside the work

Before the airport reopens, employers can arrange a video conference with the employees to inform them about the new hygiene and protection measures and to answer questions about them. They should also encourage their co-workers to continue to follow good practice in their private lives, such as social distancing, regular hand washing and disinfection, and adherence to quarantine measures to minimise their chances of contracting the disease during and outside work.

Strengthening the awareness of the sense of the necessary measures and the team spirit is crucial for preventing the spread of COVID-19 among employees and customers.

Establish health checks

Many airlines are considering requiring their passengers to have up-to-date medical certificates as proof of their good health. In practice, however, this is hardly practicable. For this reason, many are moving towards establishing a general safety assessment with the reopening of the airport, in which the passenger's state of health is queried. Temperature checks can also be carried out before the flight. As an additional measure, customers should be encouraged through e-mail newsletters, SMS and website posts to stay at home as much as possible, especially in the time before their flight, to minimise their chances of being infected with COVID-19.

Provide masks and other PPE

As an additional security measure, protective masks can be distributed to employees and passengers. While face masks offer minimal protection to healthy people, they are generally better at preventing unknowing carriers of the virus from spreading it. Even if airports were to introduce strict medical safety regulations for employees and passengers, masks provide additional protection to limit virus transmission.

Improve safety standards in all areas

The implementation of security measures in all areas is important to avoid unnecessary physical interaction between customers and employees. This includes transparent shielding between employees and passengers and the application of adhesive tape markings on the floor to maintain the necessary distance. Airlines can also make their customers aware of online alternatives to manual methods such as online ticketing and check-in. Additional handwashing and disinfection stations in areas with a lot of customer traffic further reduce the risk of infection.

Reopening of the airport with the digital checklists of Lumiform

The multitude of hygiene and protection measures required for the reopening of an airport and its operation during the corona pandemic is a challenge for airport operators and companies. The use of checklists made of paper, which are filled out in the same way as with a pen, makes the procedure even more complex and complicated. Information can be lost and a lot of time must be invested in evaluating the checklists.

With Lumiform's mobile app, airport personnel can perform any quality and security inspection, easily via tablet or smartphone - online or offline. The desktop software is used to create checklists for cleaning procedures according to Covid-19 standards. The collected data can then be evaluated using the analysis function. This minimises risks such as loss of quality and information, the spread of infection and breaches of regulations.

The Lumiform app and software offers even more advantages for airlines and airport operators - even outside the pandemic.

  • The flexible form construction kit makes it possible to convert any individual paper list into a digital checklist within a few minutes.
  • Generate real-time data via internal processes. This makes quality and safety measurable, and processes can be continuously optimised using data.
  • Keeping track of everything that's going on in the field.
  • Reports are created automatically - this saves the team from having to do all the follow-up work.
  • Increase the efficiency of internal processes: Better communication within the team, with third parties and with management, as well as faster reporting of incidents, means that events are reported up to 4 times faster than before.

To make it easier for airport operators and airlines to reopen and operate during the corona pandemic, we have compiled some checklist templates that can be used immediately with the Lumiform App. All templates can be easily adapted to internal hotel guidelines and regional guidelines of state authorities.

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