Twenty one (21) airports in Africa have received the prestigious Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Health Accreditation Certificate.
This is in recognition of the implementation of the recommended health measures in the ACI Aviation Business Restart and Recovery Guidelines and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council Aviation Recovery Task Force Recommendations, along with industry best practices by the 21 airports.
The ACI Airport Health Accreditation programme enables airports to demonstrate to passengers, staff, regulators and governments that they are prioritising health and safety in a measurable, established manner.
It also allows airports to validate their own measures throughout their facilities and processes and reassures the travelling public using the airport’s facilities.
The guidelines addresses elements like cleaning, disinfection, hygiene, physical distancing, arrival health protocols and a host of others.
Some major airports on the list are: the Kotoka International Airport in Ghana; Sal Amilcar Cabral International airport in Cape Verde; Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport in Egypt; and other airports in South Africa, Rwanda, Mauritius, Madagascar, Morocco, Niger, Senegal and Tunisia.
The Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), Mr. Yaw Kwakwa, noted that: “We are extremely grateful to ACI for the Airport Health Accreditation Certificate. As Managers and operators of Kotoka International Airport, our topmost priority is to put in place measures that will ensure a smooth and seamless facilitation process at our airports.
“We are deeply committed, with the support of government, to contributing our quota towards the fight against the spread of COVID-19. This accreditation will undoubtedly spur us on to continue on this good path of success.”
The accreditation will be valid for one calendar year during which airports are expected to complete ongoing self-assessment and quality assurance, leading to a cycle of continuous improvement, as situations change, and requirements evolve.
The ACI may perform a further review during the year to monitor continuing adherence to best practice.
At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, the government closed the country’s land, sea and air borders as part of a raft of measure to help contain the spread of the respiratory disease.
The Kotoka International Airport was re-opened for scheduled international flight operations on September 1, 2020 with strict COVID-19 protocols in place.
Social distance signs, mounting of protective screens on all check-in counters and customer service desks, and the setting up of a laboratory at upper arrival to test all in-coming passengers were crucial measures instituted to ensure the safety of all users of the facility.