Press release – The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recently issued joint guidelines for European aviation, which ensure the safe operation of airports during the pandemic. Budapest Airport already introduced the measures proposed in the guidelines weeks ago, and continuously safeguards the health of passengers and staff accordingly.
The purpose of the guidelines issued by EASA and the ECDC is to provide guidance for airport operators and owners, airlines and airport authorities for the gradual and safe restart of passenger traffic. Certain protective measures are required for this, in order to safeguard the health of passengers and staff, thus reducing the risk of the spread of coronavirus at the airport and on board aircraft.
In the current pandemic situation, airport operators, together with their ground handling partners, must guarantee the safe presence of passengers at the airport.
Although the measures put forward by international guidelines require great efforts by airports, with their help, health risks relating to the pandemic whilst at the airport can be minimized. The guidelines cover all phases of the journey, and apply, amongst others, to arrival at the airport, the check-in process, security screening, boarding, baggage reclaim, passport and border control.
The recently issued protocol emphasizes the importance of the following, amongst other things:
- Observing a physical distance of 1.5 meters between persons, where reasonably possible.
- Encouraging the wearing a face masks and frequent hand hygiene amongst passengers and staff.
- Communicating the most important virus-related information to passengers.
- Regular disinfectant cleaning, with special focus on surfaces frequently touched by passengers.
- Facilitating contactless airport administration.
Continuous disinfecting of the ventilation system, ensuring an appropriate air supply.
- Ensuring the wearing of personal protective equipment for staff, installing Plexiglas screens wherever possible.
- Airports should ask passengers to enter the airport without escorts, thus minimizing the number of people concurrently present within the facility and ensuring social distancing. Escorts should only enter in justified cases, if passengers require special assistance (e.g. minors or persons with reduced mobility).
- Airports should ensure that passengers should be aware of the health and safety measures introduced by the airport, and should comply with them, in the interest of maintaining a safe and healthy environment.
Budapest Airport already introduced the above measures weeks ago, in the interest of safeguarding the health and safety of passengers and staff.
Budapest Airport became a reputable first mover in implementing all kinds of coronavirus-related health measures, demonstrating how safe the airport can be implemented during the pandemic.
“In the current situation, we have two important tasks, firstly, to make presence at the airport safe and risk-free for passengers and our colleagues alike, and, secondly, to rebuild trust for air travel amongst passengers, with these measures, after the pandemic has died down,” said Dr. Rolf Schnitzler, the CEO of Budapest Airport Zrt. He added: “In addition to actively helping to set various guidelines for safe air travel, we also continuously ensure that we should be able to safeguard the health of our passengers and staff, in line with applicable regulations and international protocols. The guidelines issued by EASA have confirmed the measures that we introduced over the past weeks at Budapest Airport, well ahead of any official guidelines.”
The list of protective measures in effect at Ferenc Liszt International Airport against the coronavirus pandemic is accessible here.
During the traffic-free period, the airport operator performed disinfectant spring cleaning at the airport, which it continuously maintains.
In the interest of maintaining 1.5 meter social distancing, it placed floor stickers and prohibitive stickers on every second seat in the transit area.
The wearing of face masks is mandatory for staff who cannot keep a distance of 1.5 meters from passengers due to the nature of their work, and Budapest Airport installed Plexiglas screens between passengers and staff, wherever possible.
Disinfectant door mats will soon be placed at the terminals to prevent the spread of pathogens on footwear, and the ventilation system in the building is regularly disinfected, to ensure an appropriate air supply. Fliers have been available at the terminals in five languages since January, providing information on protection against coronavirus. Budapest Airport has placed hand sanitizer dispensers for passengers throughout the building.
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Source: Budapest Airport
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