Aena is now the airport group in the world with the most “safe airports” accredited under the guidelines issued by the international aviation authorities and the World Health Organisation

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16 July 2021

The 46 airports in the network in Spain earn AHA (Airport Health Accreditation) from the ACI which recognises their commitment to the health measures put in place to ensure the safety of employees and passengers

The last 16 airports to receive the “Safe Airport” accreditation are Albacete, Badajoz, Burgos, Córdoba, Huesca-Pirineos, León, Logroño, Madrid-Cuatro Vientos, Melilla, Pamplona, Sabadell, Salamanca, San Sebastián, Son Bonet, Valladolid and Vitoria, which join the 30 airports that had already achieved it

Aena kicked off its Operational Recovery Plan in April 2020 to tailor its infrastructures to EASA and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control measures at all airports in its network

Cleaning, disinfection and ventilation of the terminals has been stepped up while screens, signage, hand sanitiser dispensers and contactless devices have been set up throughout the airports

Aena has just gained Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) programme certification from the Airports Council International (ACI) for a further 16 airports, which means that all 46 airports in its Spanish network have earned AHA. As a result Aena is now the airport group in the world with the most “safe airports” accredited under the guidelines issued by the international aviation authorities and the World Health Organisation.

The recently accredited 16 airports are Albacete, Badajoz, Burgos, Córdoba, Huesca-Pirineos, León, Logroño, Madrid-Cuatro Vientos, Melilla, Pamplona, Sabadell, Salamanca, San Sebastián, Son Bonet, Valladolid and Vitoria, which join the 30 airports that had already achieved it.

The AHA programme assesses compliance with the health measures recommended by the ACI, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. All of them are in turn in line with the targets set in the Operational Recovery Plan that Aena kicked off in April 2020 and which is being rolled out at all the airports in its network.

Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) demonstrates Aena’s ongoing commitment to the measures put in place to ensure the safety of employees and passengers in the wake of the pandemic, with the aim of regaining the confidence of travellers in air transport.

As the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) says in its “guidelines for Covid-19 testing and quarantine of air travellers”, air transport has been shown to be a low prevalence environment for the virus, accounting for less than 1% of detected Covid-19 cases and no increase in the transmission rate.

Measures for the entire Aena network: Screens, cleaning and disinfection, signage, ventilation, hand sanitiser, new operating procedures, contactless devices and more

The protocols and measures are used at all the airports in the Aena network. The ACI has certified the measures for stepping up cleaning and disinfection in facilities, controlling maximum allowed capacities and tailoring operational processes to the new situation.

The ACI has also assessed the installation of protective screens, hand sanitiser dispensers, contactless devices, information in digital format, signage and PA announcements (reminders of the obligation to wear facemasks and recommendations such as hand hygiene), social distancing floor marking tapes and footprints and taking seats out of service to maintain this distance. Aena has drawn up 84 new messages which include all these measures in a number of languages while over 400 adaptations have been devised for the various areas in the facilities.

Building on all these measures, Aena has worked and continues to work constantly at all its airports to recover traffic safely. Its Operational Recovery Plan includes over 100 measures, some specifically for passengers and others for operational and organisational purposes.

AHA is the first global programme specially designed for the airport industry as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. The accreditation has been awarded after careful assessment of the health measures and procedures that Aena and the Spanish authorities have introduced in all passenger areas and processes.

Passengers can visit Aena’s website for updated information on the measures implemented at airports, recommendations for their journey (before going to the airport, once at the airport, on the aircraft and at the destination airport) and the restrictions in place in the various regions and countries. This information is available at www.infocovidaena.es

Highest 5-star rating

Six airports in the Aena network, which are also some of the busiest, have additionally just earned the highest score awarded by the COVID-19 Safety Ratings programme launched by Skytrax, an internationally renowned airport review and ranking consultancy.

The airports in question are Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat, Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández, Málaga-Costa del Sol, Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife Norte-Ciudad de la Laguna. The rating achieved is five-star for “very high standards”, the highest awarded and comes in addition to the “Safe Airport” accreditations.

The Covid-19 Safety Ratings programme is the only one of its kind worldwide specifically designed for the airport industry. The visits were conducted in person by a group of auditors who toured the six airports and inspected the measures put in place by Aena to ensure the safety of passengers and employees in the current health situation. These audits evaluated some 175 security protocols introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to lessen risks and enhance the wellbeing of passengers and airport employees alike.

Until now only 10 airports in the world have been awarded the highest Five-Star Covid-19 Safety Ratings by Skytrax: Roma Fiumicino, Malta International, Istanbul, Bogotá El Dorado, Doha Hamad, Baku Heydar Aliyev, Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, Ekaterinburg Koltsovo, Samara Kurumoch and Platov International.