Airports Council International (ACI) World and ACI EUROPE have announced that Istanbul Airport is the first airport to be accredited through its new Airport Health Accreditation programme.
ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation programme assists airports by assessing new health measures and procedures introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with ICAO Council Aviation Restart Task Force recommendations and in alignment with the joint EASA and ECDC Aviation Health Safety Protocol and ACI EUROPE’s Guidelines for a Healthy Passenger Experience at Airports.
Topics covered by the accreditation include cleaning and disinfection, physical distancing (where feasible and practical), staff protection, physical layout, passenger communications and passenger facilities.
“I am very impressed in how the industry has swiftly adapted to new realities to introduce new protocols based on globally-consistent protocols,” says Luis Felipe de Oliveira, Director General, ACI World. “We congratulate Istanbul for being the first airport to be accredited through our new Airport Health Accreditation programme which demonstrates that they are focused on the health and welfare of travellers, staff, and the public. This will be crucial as our industry begins to restart and then prepare to sustain continuing operations, providing to passengers and employees high globally-recognised standards on health and hygiene, which will help to restore public confidence in air travel.”
Commentating on Istanbul Airport being given a certificate under the Airport Health Accreditation programme, Kadri Samsunlu, Chief Executive Officer, İGA Airport Operation, made the following statements: “Aviation is an important industry that is bound to international rules and committed to continuous improvement aimed at maximised passenger experience. We continue our efforts to offer our passengers ‘safe travel at maximum hygiene’ in the new normal. In this process, we first received the Airport Pandemic Certificate from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Turkey. Soon after, we have signed the ‘COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol’ published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Following this protocol signed by Istanbul Airport as the first airport in Turkey, the measures we have taken have been recognised also by key authorities of aviation industry. Lastly, we have qualified to receive the first ‘Airport Health Accreditation’ certificate given by Airports Council International (ACI) in the world. The certificate has been awarded by Airports Council International and is really important to make sure that the aviation industry is in the finest possible position to support strong recovery in the near future. Aviation is a very resilient industry and we need to take measures to endure through the impact of COVID-19 through implementing strict health and safety standards at our facilities and operations.
“The Airport Health Accreditation certificate should definitely be considered by all airport operators as proof to demonstrate greater readiness to build passenger confidence and trust. To have successfully passed the audits of a body as powerful as ACI and to have qualified to get a certification on Airport Health Accreditation means a lot to us. The fact that Istanbul Airport is the holder of international certificates in terms of health proves that it is always our top priority to ensure the health and safety of our passengers and employees. Considering that Istanbul Airport is the world’s global hub, the award of the ‘Airport Health Accreditation’ certificate is also proof that our measures are all at international standards. In this context, I must place special emphasis that we will never ever compromise on the hygiene standards we have achieved at Istanbul Airport.”
Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI EUROPE, comments: “Recovery from this unprecedented crisis has called for the swift and thorough implementation across the entire aviation system of the global standards developed jointly by competent authorities. ACI has worked hand in hand with ICAO, EASA and ECDC to help deliver a blueprint for safe airport operations amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This blueprint, which has served as the basis for ACI EUROPE’s Guidelines for a Healthy Passenger Experience at Airports, is now complemented by a new Airport Health Accreditation programme. It is with great pride we note that the first airport to become accredited is European – reflecting the eager adoption of the new focus on the health-concerned passenger among airports across our region. Congratulations are in order for the Istanbul Airport team!”