Cork is First Irish Airport to Achieve ACI Airport Health Accreditation

Airports Council International (ACI) World and ACI Europe have announced that Cork Airport is the first airport on the island of Ireland to be accredited through its new Airport Health Accreditation programme.

The 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 Recovery 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.

Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ACI World’s Director General, said: “Airports are vital cogs in the aviation ecosystem and Cork Airport’s achievement in being the first airport in Ireland to achieve accreditation through ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation programme shows a commitment to health and hygiene that will help to restore passenger confidence in air travel. As important engines of growth, wealth creation, and employment, the recovery of the airport sector will be a significant driver of the global and local economic recovery following Covid-19 and Cork Airport has shown that it can be an industry leader by completing our programme.”

Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director, Cork Airport, said: “The fact that Cork Airport is the first airport in Ireland and one of the first in the world to be a holder of this international certificate proves that it is always our top priority to ensure the health and safety of our passengers and employees. The awarding of the Airport Health Accreditation certificate is also proof that our measures at Cork Airport are at the top of all international standards.

“I should stress that we never ever compromise on the health and safety of our passengers and employees at Cork Airport. This certification will become increasingly important as the Government moves to reopen international travel and the industry and Government collaborate on restoring passenger confidence in travel.”

Olivier Jankovec, ACI Europe’s Director General, added: “The comprehensive set of health and safety measures put in place by Cork Airport, resulting in its achievement of ACI Airport Health Accreditation (AHA), is exemplary. It signals Cork Airport’s readiness to welcome back its passengers and facilitate their journeys. Aligning with best practices carved out by the ACI Europe Guidelines for a Healthy Passenger Experience and the ICAO’s Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce and reflected in ACI’s AHA framework is no small feat amid the ongoing ravage of the Covid-19 crisis.

“It is with great pride we note that the first airport to become accredited in Ireland is Cork Airport – ACI Europe’s Best Airport in its class in 2019 – reflecting the eager adoption of the new focus on the health-concerned passenger among airports across our region. Congratulations are in order for the Cork Airport team yet again!”

Accreditation Process

The Accreditation is based on guidance from the ICAO CART Take-Off document and ACI Recovery and Restart Best Practices that supplement the CART approach. They are consistent with CAPSCA recommendations for States, taking an airport-centric approach to common requirements. Topics include cleaning and disinfection, physical distancing (where feasible and practical), staff protection, physical layout, passenger communications and passenger facilities.

All passenger areas and processes are considered, including terminal access, check-in areas, security screening, boarding gates, lounges, retail, food and beverages, gate equipment such as boarding bridges, escalators and elevators, border control areas and facilities (in collaboration with authorities), baggage claim area, and arrivals exit.

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