Amid COVID-19 scare Ahmedabad, Mangaluru, Lucknow airports get ACI Health Accreditation
Ahmedabad, Mangaluru, and Lucknow join the elite group of over 200 airports that have been awarded in the Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Health Accreditation programme.
On Monday, Adani Enterprises said that three of its airports – Ahmedabad, Mangaluru, and Lucknow – have been accredited in the Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Health Accreditation programme. According to ACI’s website, it works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and its other global partners.
According to Airport Council International, this programme, ‘provides airports with an assessment of how aligned their health measures are with the ACI Aviation Business Restart and Recovery guidelines and ICAO Council Aviation Restart Task Force recommendations along with industry best practices.’
In the era of COVID-19, this accreditation helps passengers identify airports, worldwide, that prioritize health and safety. So far, eight Indian airports including seven International airports – New Delhi, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Mangaluru, Puttaparthi (Andhra Pradesh), and Bangaluru – have been awarded the said accreditation. In India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (Mumbai), however, was the first airport to have been awarded the ACI accreditation.
Behnad Zandi, CEO of Adani Airports, was quoted by IANS saying, "This accreditation is a significant step in the pursuit of reinvigorating air traffic in the wake of COVID-19 and the ensuing vaccination drive. It instills trust in health and safety standards practiced at Lucknow, Ahmedabad, and Mangaluru airports amidst the spread and control."
The Process of Accreditation
According to IANS, the extensive evaluation process by ACI under the AHA programme is conducted after reviewing evidence presented based on 118 checkpoints. ACI’s website further elaborates on the process of the said accreditation. It’s based on guidance from the International Civil Aviation Organization Council's Aviation Recovery Taskforce (ICAO CART) Take-Off document and ACI Recovery and Restart Best Practices which 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 while going through the checklist for the process. This includes 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.
This accreditation process is, however, voluntary. Any airport can send in a request to join the programme.
ACI Health Accredited Airports – Worldwide
Amid the COVID-19 scare, Istanbul Airport was the first airport to achieve ACI Airport Health Accreditation. According to ACI Media Release, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ACI World Director General, was quoted as saying, “I am very impressed in how the industry has swiftly adapted to new realities to introduce new protocols based on globally-consistent protocols.” He further adds, “… This will be crucial as our industry begins to restart and then prepare to sustain continuing operations, providing to passengers and employees high globally-recognized standards on health and hygiene, which will help to restore public confidence in air travel.”
Over 200 airports around the world, including Heathrow Airport (London), Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (Paris), Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Cape Town International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, and Singapore Changi Airport have been awarded ACI Airport Health Accreditation.
(With Inputs from IANS)