Six Spanish airports operated by AENA receive the maximum five star safety ratings for Covid-19 security. International organisation Skytrax awarded the ratings within the framework of the COVID-19 Safety Ratings programme.
The six Spanish airports with the maximum rating are Alicante-Elche, Barcelona-El Prat, Madrid-Barajas, Malaga-Costa del Sol, Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife Norte. Skytrax is an internationally renowned research and airport studies consultancy. Furthermore, the Covid-19 Safety Ratings programme is the only one in the world specifically designed for the airport sector.
Safe travel also during the pandemic
The Skytrax accreditation is regarded worldwide as a benchmark for ensuring safe travel and the highest recognition of the effectiveness of airport hygiene and safety measures.
Auditors personally visited airports and inspected the measures taken by AENA to ensure the safety of passengers and workers with regard to health conditions. These checks evaluated as many as 175 different safety protocols introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
From disinfectant gel to ventilation filters
The auditors checked, among other things:
- the Covid-19 information boards;
- the implementation of measures to restrict access to terminals;
- Covid testing facilities;
- the supervision of keeping a distance;
- health checks;
- the supervision of the wearing of masks;
- the availability and visibility of alcohol-containing disinfectant gel;
- the sale of personal protective equipment such as masks;
- the airflow and ventilation filters in terminals;
- the cleanliness and supervision of public areas, toilets, catering areas and security checks.
The Skytrax auditors mentioned as strengths of the six airports the health checks, which they consider among the best in Europe. They also praised the visibility, availability and performance of the ‘Covid Protection Team’, the ‘excellent and strict’ access control, the procedure and operations in the VIP lounges. Clear communication and image also received commendations.
European guidelines and cooperation
Administrator AENA implemented more than 100 security, hygiene and health control measures at its airports. These measures are based on the directives of the European Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Furthermore, AENA drew them up in cooperation with the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC). They also coordinated with the EU Member States and the international associations of airports (ACI) and airlines (IATA).
Since 2020, AENA has been working with the Spanish Ministry of Health and the Autonomous Communities to carry out health checks on passengers arriving at airports. This year, the organisation also freed up space at several airports to install test sites for departing passengers.