Toronto Pearson International Airport, operated by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), is the first Canadian airport to be accredited under the Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Health Accreditation program.
ACI-NA president and CEO, Kevin M. Burke said: “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, North American airports have taken unprecedented steps to ensure the health and safety of passengers and airport workers.”
Burke continued: “We are proud to recognize Toronto Pearson International Airport as the first Canadian airport to achieve their Airport Health Accreditation. This important step further demonstrates the airport’s deep commitment to promoting health and safety as air travel begins to recover.”
ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation program 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. Areas of assessment for accreditation include cleaning and disinfection, physical distancing (where feasible and practical), staff protection, physical layout, passenger communications and passenger facilities.
Deborah Flint, president and CEO, GTAA, noted that: “We all have a role to play in overcoming COVID-19 and building trust in aviation—we are truly all in this together.”
Flint said that: “At Toronto Pearson, we’ve taken this calling and run with it. We’re not only telling passengers and employees what they can do to help limit spread, but we have transformed our operation to deliver health and hygiene practices with consistency and quality assurance.”
She continued: “We call it our five-point ‘Healthy Airport’ commitment,” Flint continued. “It encompasses everything from making passenger and employee health our top priority and working diligently with government and industry partners to communicating transparently and ensuring that our approach is innovative, aligned with industry standards and best in class by utilizing the latest processes and technologies.”
The Airport Health Accreditation program is also consistent with the recommendations and industry priorities put forward by ACI-NA’s Airport Industry Recovery Advisory Panel in June 2020.
As the report recommends, the restart and recovery of the aviation sector will require a consistent and harmonized approach with clear industry standards and good practices. More airports adopting the Airport Health Accreditation program is a concrete step that airports can take to reaffirm their commitment to health and safety.
ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira, said: “Consistency will be the key to a sustained global recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and Toronto Pearson’s achievement in being accredited by the ACI Airport Health Accreditation programme contributes to a globally-coordinated approach which will foster public confidence in aviation.”
And he concluded: “I am very impressed in how Toronto Pearson has swiftly adapted to new realities to introduce new measures based on globally-consistent protocols.”