11 June 2020
By Elaine Murphy
The Airport never closed, per se, in that Emergency and Cargo flights still arrived and departed, but now normal passenger flights are to return
Cork Airport has implemented a series of public health and hygiene measures across the airport campus to protect and enhance the health and safety of passengers and staff as a result of COVID-19 as the airport starts the gradual ramp-up of its operations to cater for more flights and passengers in the coming months.
- Passengers strongly recommended to wear face masks or face coverings inside the Terminal in line with Government guidelines (mandatory whilst flying).
- Only those travelling should enter the Departures or Check-in area of the Terminal.
- Enhanced deep cleaning measures throughout the airport.
- Multiple plexiglass screens fitted throughout the terminal, sanitisation stations and freestanding/wall mounted sanitising units installed.
- 500 x social distancing floor decals installed plus scores of other important public safety enhancements.
- Resumption of passenger operations essential for the recovery of the South of Ireland hotel, food & beverage and hospitality sectors
The measures reflect Ireland’s national COVID-19 guidelines and also best practice in the European aviation sector, as set out in the recent guidelines devised by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to ensure that passengers feel safe and secure as they arrive and depart from Cork Airport. Only passengers with a valid ticket should enter the Departures or Check-in area of the Terminal to reduce the number of people inside the terminal. All measures are effective from Tuesday, June 16th.
Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport commented: “The safety and wellbeing of all who pass through Cork Airport has always been our number one priority. Anyone who has used our airport in the past knows that travelling from Cork is one of the quickest, cleanest and friendliest passenger experiences in Europe. However, in line with Irish and European guidelines for the resumption of air travel, we have implemented these additional measures for everyone’s safety and we ask for our passenger’s co-operation and patience as we return to flying”.
“We will continue to partner with our airlines to protect passengers through their entire journey. Everyone at Cork Airport stands ready to welcome passengers back to what has always been Ireland’s friendliest and easiest passenger experience as more of our routes are restored in the weeks and months ahead. Fly Cork when you do return to flying. You know it’s going to be easier! ” he added.
How travelling is safeguarded from Cork Airport:
Hand Hygiene: Multiple hand sanitising units have been placed at various locations throughout the terminal for both passengers and staff. Additional hand sanitising stations which are clearly identifiable have also been located immediately inside the doors on entering the terminal building for arriving and departing passengers.
Face Masks: Passengers are strongly recommended to wear a face mask throughout their entire travel journey, beginning at the departing airport, throughout the flight and until they have exited the airport terminal on arrival at their destination. Passengers should bring their own face mask from home, but if they forget to do so, masks will be available for purchase at the airport. Face mask vending machines are being installed at Cork Airport and will be in situ by the end of next week. One vending machine will be located on the forecourt before entering the terminal at Cork Airport.
Safe Distance: All queuing areas reconfigured with graphics and signage throughout the terminal to remind everyone of the importance of social and physical distancing. Signage, outlining maximum numbers permitted in toilets, lifts and breakrooms has also been installed. Social distancing public address announcements, reminding passengers to observe physical distancing as advised by the Irish Department of Health, are also being played at frequent intervals.
Cleaning: Intensified cleaning and disinfection of all contact surfaces throughout the terminal, including check-in counters, self-service kiosks, escalator handrails is being deployed. The frequency of cleaning in high volume areas has also been intensified to every 60 minutes.
Self-Isolation instructions: Announcements reminding all arriving passengers into Cork to complete Passenger Locator Forms as required by the Irish Government and the Irish Department of Health are being made for all arriving flights in advance of approaching Immigration Officers at Passport Control.
Electronic check-in in advance: Passengers are recommended to check-in online via their airline’s website or mobile app before they arrive at the airport if possible. Plexiglass separation screens have been installed at all check-in desks for passengers who must manually check-in at the airport or drop off baggage.
Security control: Passengers are also reminded to observe social distancing by way of multiple floor graphics, audio announcements and queue management signage. Passengers should present their board card to the Airport Security Officer through the plexiglass screen. An intensified cleaning schedule of security trays is also being deployed.
Boarding Gates: Socially distanced seating arrangements and plexiglass separation at boarding gates are in place. An intensified cleaning of boarding gate areas and touchpoints is also the new norm.
Food & Beverage Outlets: Passengers are requested to limit the use of cash in shops, bars and restaurants, with contactless payments the preferred choice across all outlets when they reopen. Socially distanced seating will be in place and no open serve/self-serve options available.
Car Parks: Passengers are recommended to pre-book car parking in advance online. Contactless pay machines and entry columns are in all car parks. Customers who are pre-booked online can simply tap or insert payment card on arrival at the car park that they have pre-booked and tap or insert again on exit. With this method, there is no need to press for a ticket.
Customers who have not booked online in advance, can also use tap or insert card facility upon arrival to all car parks, or if they take a ticket, they can pay by contactless at the pay station or the exit column by both inserting or tapping their card. Car park shuttle bus services are currently suspended but all car parks are within easy walking distance of the terminal.
Forecourt: Drivers dropping off passengers at Cork Airport can set down on the forecourt for up to fifteen minutes free of charge before tariffs apply. The area is set up with an Automatic Number Plate Recognition system allowing drivers to tap their card to exit if their drop off exceeds the fifteen-minute grace period.
Cork Airport has invested significantly in these public health measures including the following:
- Plexiglass screens fitted throughout the terminal.
- Multiple sanitisation stations.
- 30 x freestanding/wall mounted sanitising units.
- 500 x social distancing floor decals.
- 65 x tabletop social distancing graphics in departures.
- Extensive additional signage throughout the terminal.
- Multiple digital signage.
- 4 x face mask vending machines
- 5 x Anti-Viral Fogging Units
- New Security Trays
- High technology queue management software with automated alerts where space capacities exceeded
- State of the art (Covid-19 specifically tailored) cleaning regime to ensure the terminal is sparkling clean and hygienic. All touchpoints will be cleaned every 60 minutes.
- Specifically modified public address announcements (landside & airside)