Amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Frankfurt Airport is getting ready to ramp up passenger flights again. Fraport, its owner and operator, is taking comprehensive steps to prevent contagion in the currently-used areas of Terminal 1 and comply with the requirements imposed by the responsible health authorities.
“We attach top priority to the safety and health of our passengers and employees,” says Alexander Laukenmann, who heads Fraport AG’s Airside and Terminal Management, Corporate Safety and Security unit. “We are now implementing a wide range of measures to minimise the risk of infection and ensure that passengers can travel safely via Frankfurt Airport.”
The entire aviation industry has joined forces to define consistent measures. Many of these have already been put into practice in Frankfurt: the waiting areas in front of the check-in counters, at the boarding pass and security checkpoints, and the baggage claims have all been reorganised to ensure that passengers can keep at least 1.5m (five feet) apart. Markings on the floor help them do so. This also holds for all other processing points where it can be necessary to wait in line. In rest areas, only every other seat may be used. Posters, digital displays, and PA announcements in multiple languages additionally call passengers’ attention to the social distancing rules. Trained agents circulating in the terminal also watch out and remind them if they forget.
Everywhere that passengers and employees need to directly interact, plexiglass shields provide additional protection for both. When frontline staff are unable to maintain the required distance due to the nature of their work, for instance at security checkpoints, they are required to wear face masks at all times. This also applies to passengers if they board buses or enter shops at the airport. The possibility is currently being considered of obliging all passengers, guests, meeters and greeters, and employees to don a mask when entering the terminals.
A large number of hand disinfectant dispensers have also been installed around the terminal, and frequently-touched surfaces are now cleaned and disinfected more often than usual.
“In order for these preventive measures to be truly effective, everyone has to do the right thing by consistently maintaining the prescribed distance from others,” Laukenmann adds. “We have already taken appropriate steps in all areas that are currently being used or will be in the near future, and are working hard to get the rest of the airport ready as well.”