Last spring, in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, Prague Airport began to implement a number of measures aimed at protecting the health of both passengers and airport employees. The correct steps taken by the airport in this area have now been confirmed by the issuance of the international ACI Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) Certificate, which also appreciates the fact that the standards implemented at Václav Havel Airport Prague meet the requirements of international organizations in the aviation industry. At the same time, obtaining the accreditation proves that a high level of functioning protective measures ensures increased safety of passengers flying through Prague.
"Prague Airport has applied protection measures to its operation as one of the first entities in the Czech Republic. Therefore, we changed some check-in procedures at the airport and took steps to make the airport safe. Due to the situation at hand, we also decided to implement new cleaning and disinfection technologies, to invest in protective gear for employees and in protective plexiglass. We have also increased the frequency of cleaning and at the same time launched a major educational campaign among passengers and employees. Our long-term efforts have now been confirmed by the receipt of the international ACI Airport Health Accreditation, which also proves that the set protection measures work, eliminate travel risks and thus increase the safety of flying from Prague," Vaclav Rehor, Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, said.
The Accreditation Certificate confirms that the set processes, measures and individual steps applied at Prague Airport meet the requirements and recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Airports Council International (ACI), which has now awarded Prague Airport a recognised international AHA certificate. In order to obtain the accreditation, it was necessary, for example, to provide information on all set measures and processes, including detailed records of all cleaning and disinfection means and methods, prepare an overview of changes in passenger handling processes, but also share specific steps in protecting employees' health.
"To reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among workers, we have also launched our own sophisticated and effective system for tracing and following contacts in the workplace, including a non-stop Infoline. We have involved in the initiative not only subsidiaries within the Prague Airport Group, but also other entities operating at Václav Havel Airport Prague. Thanks to the system efficiency, even in times of the deteriorating epidemiological situation throughout the Czech Republic, it has been possible to eliminate risky contacts of employees directly at the airport. If a health status check is needed, for example of employees performing work affecting crucial airport operations, we also fund their testing using RT-PCR tests, which they can undergo directly at the airport,” Vaclav Rehor added.
Extensive photo documentation of protective measures in place or specific examples of communication through various online and offline communication channels of Prague Airport were some of the requirements for obtaining the ACI Airport Health Accreditation Certificate. Based on the details provided, a final audit was subsequently performed by ACI experts. They assessed the individual categories of the entire passenger journey, such as the requirements for keeping a safe distance and wearing protective face masks as well as the cleaning processes in the individual areas of the airport and other aspects. The overall approach of Prague Airport to the safety of passengers and employees was also evaluated, observing the adherence to the applicable legislation. The ACI AHA certification process took about a month.
ACI Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) is an official certification programme that is open to all member airports of this organization worldwide. Under the programme, the ACI evaluates airports according to individual criteria and thus assesses their set protective measures and other tools they use in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Obtaining the accreditation then confirms that the airport is well prepared and that passengers can fly safely and with ease from these airports. At the same time, thanks to this accreditation, certain rules are being unified throughout the aviation industry and joint efforts are being made, which could lead to increased confidence in flying and an increase in demand for travel.
Airports Council International (ACI) is a global industry association that brings together approximately 1960 airports in a total of 176 countries. It was founded in 1991 and aims to promote cooperation between members and other partners in the field of air transport. Vaclav Rehor, Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, was elected a member of the ACI Europe Board in mid-November.
Additional information on security measures at Václav Havel Airport Prague and other important information for passengers are available on the Prague Airport’s website here: https://www.prg.aero/en/protective-measures.