Sanitizing Mists & Plexiglass: Overview Of Canada’s Major Airport Installations
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
YYZ’s “Autonomous Cleaner.”
As Canada's beleaguered airline industry is taking cautious steps to restart operations after travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the country's largest airport hubs – YYZ, YVR and YUL -- have revealed additional plans and protocols on how they plan to keep travellers safe and minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
On 12JUN, the federal government announcedmandatory temperature screeningsfor all passengers travelling to or departing Canadian airports for international or domestic destinations. This is in addition to the health screening questions andmandatory face coveringsthat are already required for all passengers, effective 20APR.
YYZ, YUL and YVR are also limiting access to the airport and request that only travellers with valid tickets and employees enter the terminal building. Greeting at the terminal is restricted to essential assistants only.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) launched its"Healthy Airport"commitment 23JUN. The program encompasses a partnership with data analytics and technology company BlueDot to monitor and manage risk from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
"As government restrictions on air travel begin to be lifted and flights increase, Toronto Pearson is ready, and we are intent on exceeding international standards. Everyone who works at Toronto Pearson is dedicated to playing a leadership role in fulfilling the health protection measures and adapting quickly to changes and future standards," said Deborah Flint, President and CEO of the GTAA.
In addition to measures introduced by the GTAA on 01JUN – mandatory masks, limited access to airport facilities, enhanced cleaning and hygiene and increased signage for physical distancing – YYZ's Healthy Airport program includes commitments to adjust quickly to changes and current intelligence, and explore "innovative and technologically advanced solutions" for ensuring the safety of pax and employees.
Some of those innovations, according toCTVNews, include:
six robotic floor cleaners that will move about the airport;
virtual customer service officers to help pax;
air quality monitoring stations set up inside both terminals;
an "eco-friendly sanitizing mist" in the baggage claim area to help disinfect pax as they leave the airport;
plexiglass installations will be used in more than 80 locations and for taxis and limos.
Vancouver International Airport on 18JUN unveiled its "YVR TAKEcare"program.
"The safety and security of our passengers, employees and all airport visitors is our top priority. Through this multi-layered program, our goal is to create a safe and frictionless airport experience— from the curb to the cloud— so that passengers and employees feel confident while at the airport," said Robyn McVicker, Vice President, Operations & Maintenance, Vancouver Airport Authority.
Some of the measures under TAKEcare include:
Providing additional hand sanitizer throughout the airport;
Installing plexiglass at counters;
Placing TAKEcare team members at key locations throughout the terminal to provide assistance and answer questions;
Displaying in-terminal signage throughout the passenger journey that encourages physical distancing.
ADM Aéroports de Montréal's "Travel with Confidence" program, announced 19JUN, includes the following measures at YUL:
Only entrances 4, 11 (departures level) and 25 (arrivals level) provide access to the terminal. These are equipped with health checkpoints where pax are required to disinfect their hands, answer questions to determine whether they have symptoms associated with COVID-19, and put on a mask. A temperature reading will also be taken at this location.
Pax can reserve a parking space and passage through securityonline, limiting contact.
Areas where passengers are travelling will be "cleaned and disinfected 10 times a day."
Disinfectant gel dispensers will be accessible in the terminal building.
Baggage carts will be disinfected and cleaned after every use.
Taxi drivers licensed to operate at YUL will be required to clean their car between each customer, wear a mask, and wash their hands regularly. Some vehicles will be equipped with a plexiglass screen separating the front seats from the passenger seats. Passengers can make a request to the dispatcher to use one these vehicles.
"The health and safety of our passengers and employees has always been our top priority. That's why ADM set up a multi-functional working group whose mandate was to identify best practices in public health, particularly in the air transport industry, to evaluate other airports' approaches, and to consult with our various industry partners," said Philippe Rainville, President and CEO of ADM.
"We believe that these new measures, combined with the measures already in place and the increased vigilance of passengers, will significantly limit the spread of the virus in our facilities and make travellers want to come back and visit us at YUL."
Click hereto watch a video about the measures at YUL.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.