The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on air travel, but anyone who’s travelled to or from Halifax Stanfield recently will have noticed the many health and safety measures in place to ensure travellers feel comfortable and supported throughout their journey.
“As always, the health and safety of our passengers, employees and community members is our number one priority,” said Joyce Carter, President & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA).
HIAA is pleased to share that its commitment to health and safety has been recognized by Airports Council International and Halifax Stanfield is now accredited in its Airport Health Accreditation program. This new program is designed to help reassure the travelling public that airport facilities remain safe and that precautions are being taken to limit health risks during the travel process.
“We’ve always been committed to doing everything we can to maintain safe and healthy work and travel conditions at the airport,” said Michael Rantala, Director, Safety, Security & Environment at HIAA. “The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly underscored the importance of this, so being recognized by a standardized, international airport health program means passengers and employees can feel confident that we’ve implemented quality health measures and protocols in line with global best practices.”
Since March, HIAA has been working closely with the provincial and federal governments to facilitate evolving travel restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The most recent addition is the introduction of temperature screening for all departing passengers and non-passengers entering the secure area of the airport. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority began implementing this process at Halifax Stanfield on Wednesday, Sept. 23.
There are several other measures currently in place at the airport as part of HIAA’s “Stay Healthy” initiative. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Since June 22, masks have been mandatory for everyone in the terminal building and parkade, including passengers and airport workers. Masks must be worn at all times, though exceptions can be made in certain circumstances.
- Access to the terminal building is limited to passengers and airport workers to support physical distancing. Anyone picking up or dropping off a passenger is asked to wait outside unless the passenger requires assistance.
- Everyone at the airport is asked to follow physical distancing measures, which are enforced through signage, announcements and limited seating. A distance of 2 metres (6 feet) must be maintained between people who are not travelling together.
- Extra hand-sanitizing stations have been deployed for when handwashing is not possible. Hand-sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the terminal building and parkade. Everyone is encouraged to practice good personal hygiene and frequent handwashing.
- The frequency and efficiency of cleaning and sanitizing protocols have been increased. Additional cleaning staff were hired, new electrostatic sprayers are being used and we continue to use an autonomous cleaner, Buzz, to free up time for our staff to focus on other tasks.
“Throughout my career at Halifax Stanfield, I’ve witnessed some challenging events, but this has, by far, been the most impactful,” said Carter. “We know that there are families, businesses, tourism operators, and many others who have been affected by this health crisis and we want you to know that we are here for you, and we’re ready to support you on your next journey.”
To learn more about the health and safety measures in place at Halifax Stanfield, please visit halifaxstanfield.ca/stayhealthy.