The leading trade organization for airports worldwide has recognized Ontario International Airport (ONT) for measures taken to protect the health and safety of air travelers, employees and visitors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, an important distinction as the Southern California gateway looks toward recovery in the months ahead.
In bestowing The Airport Health Accreditation, Montreal-based Airports Council International (ACI) said ONT has “shown that it is providing a safe airport experience for all travelers which is in line with recommended health measures” and will “help reassure the travelling public that [ONT] facilities remain safe and that precautions are being taken to reduce any risk to their health.”
“While the global pandemic led to a sudden and severe decline in air travel, there were no idle moments for us at Ontario International Airport,” said Mark Thorpe, the airport authority’s Chief Executive Officer. “Immediately, we undertook an intense review of our facilities and adopted practices and procedures to enhance the safety of air passengers, employees and all other guests. We were intent on making the customer experience even better and making all feel safe in our airport, and the ACI recognition affirms our success so far in our effort to do so.”
In the days and weeks following the onset of the pandemic, ONT officials moved to:
- Increase the frequency and intensity of cleanings of restrooms and other public areas of passenger facilities, with handrails, door handles, arm rests, counter tops, and other common surfaces as focal points for high-powered disinfectants.
- Install hand sanitizing stations throughout passenger terminals and other airfield facilities.
- Incorporate floor markings and signage to promote social distancing.
- Expand the use of passenger screening trays treated with powerful antimicrobial technology to inhibit the growth of bacteria on the surface of the bins used by travelers at TSA checkpoints.
- Update sick leave and telecommuting policies to provide flexibility for employees and reassure any who might become ill or need to care for family at home.
Ontario Airport also added self-serve kiosks of personal protective supplies in passenger terminals and a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site on Parking Lot 3 which is available to travelers and neighbors alike.
“Safety is our No. 1 priority. We are honored by this recognition and remain steadfast in our efforts to keep our airport free of harmful bacteria and viruses and promote the security of all who travel through and work in our facilities,” said Alan D. Wapner, President of the Ontario International Airport Authority board of commissioners. “We continue to work hand-in-hand with air carriers, concessionaires and other business partners to adapt our airport operations to changing circumstances and ensure all customers, employees and visitors feel safe.”
The Airport Health Accreditation is the second ACI honor earned by ONT in the past year. In Summer 2020, the trade association recognized ONT with its Customer Service Experience Accreditation for its ability to identify and understand the needs and expectations of airline passengers and airport visitors, all the while enhancing the customer service experience.
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