August 14 2020  |  Airlines & Airports

Istanbul Airport first to achieve ACI airport health accreditation

By Mary Jane Pittilla

Istanbul Airport is the first airport to be accredited through the new Airport Health Accreditation program launched by Airports Council International (ACI) World and ACI Europe.

The accreditation program assesses new health measures introduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommendations and in alignment with the joint European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Aviation Health Safety Protocol and ACI Europe’s guidelines.

The program spans cleaning and disinfection, physical distancing, 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,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “We congratulate Istanbul for being the first airport to be accredited through our new Airport Health Accreditation program which demonstrates that they are focused on the health and welfare of travelers, 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-recognized standards on health and hygiene, which will help to restore public confidence in air travel.”

Safety a top priority

Istanbul Airport has also received the Airport Pandemic Certificate from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Turkey, and it was the first airport in Turkey to sign the COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol published by EASA.

Commenting on the airport’s ACI accolade, Kadri Samsunlu, Chief Executive Officer at İGA Airport Operation Inc, said: “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, commented: “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 program. 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.”

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