The SJU Airport achieved the Airport Health Accreditation certification granted by the Airports Council International (ACI) in recognition of the COVID-19 prevention program and protocols established by Aerostar Airport Holdings, LLC, the SJU Airport’s operating company.
The ACI is an organization made up of 1,957 airports in 176 countries. So far, it has only granted this accreditation to 15 facilities in the Northern Hemisphere, including: the U.S., Mexico, Canada and now, Puerto Rico.
According to the ACI, Aerostar has complied with the health and safety measures recommended by the ICAO Council Aviation Restart Task Force (CART) and are aligned with the ACI Aviation Business Restart and Recovery guidelines, as well as the industry’s best practices, making the island's main airport worthy of this esteemed recognition.
The ACI Airport Health Accreditation program is designed to offer travelers confidence that certified airports have implemented the highest standards in security protocols and maintain proper precautions to reduce contagion risks and protect the health of their visitors.
What distinguishes the SJU Airport
According to Luis Felipe de Oliveira, General Director of the ACI, the SJU Airport demonstrated that it provides a safe experience to all passengers, aligned with the health measures established by the accrediting organization and other aviation industry organizations.
"This accreditation further positionsPuerto Rico as a safe and advanced destination in terms of health, which provides certainty to our visitors and inspires a climate of trust among potential investors," said Jorge Hernández, CEO of Aerostar Puerto Rico.
"The pandemic has been a challenge for all airports around the world. Despite this, in Puerto Rico we have been pioneers in establishing prevention programs and protocols before many other jurisdictions did so and in some cases, we have been the only ones to implement certain measures. Our primary responsibility and commitment is to our employees and partners, as well as the travelers, both local and those who visit us. The airport is the entrance and exit of our island. For this reason, we have not skimped on investing in a comprehensive health and safety plan that addresses all areas. We are proud and humble that an organization like the ACI recognizes the commitment we make and the efforts of the thousands of employees who work at Aerostar and in the rest of the airport community," Hernández added.
Countless effective prevention efforts
Hernández explained that some of the measures and protocols adopted by Aerostar, many of which were recognized by the accrediting organization are: the massive signage campaign dispersed throughout the entire airport stating prevention and safety guidelines, the installation of hundreds of hand sanitizer stations, the implementation of protocols to increase and intensify deep cleaning and sanitization, as well as the degree of effectiveness of the cleaning products used in the bathrooms and common areas, the disinfection of the passenger boarding bridges with a “fogging” system, as well as the implementation of markings on the floors and passageways to promote the recommended physical distancing.
Additionally, the executive mentioned the establishment of the first temperature taking system in the U.S. through infrared thermal cameras, the installation of security cameras to verify the use of masks for employees, and the placement of plexiglass barriers in all airline service counters.
The most recent of the prevention measures adopted by the SJU Airport is the design and construction of an innovative system of dividers made up of around 700 plexiglass panels to guarantee the recommended physical distance in the lines of the security points of the terminals.
"We want both the traveler and our employees to feel they are in a safe place. Therefore, despite the dramatic reduction we have experienced in air operations, we have been pioneers in implementing safety practices and contagion prevention protocols, which other jurisdictions have used as a benchmark. We have not held back on investment and we will continue to do whatever is necessary to create a safe experience for the entire airport community and our passengers," said the CEO of Aerostar.