Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) is the first airport in the world to be awarded a COVID-19 5-Star Airport Rating by international air transport rating agency
The COVID-19 audit by Skytrax was conducted over three days in September at what’s officially known as Rome-Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci International Airport. Included in the audit are a combination of procedural efficiency checks, visual observation analysis and ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) sampling tests, with the consistency of standards being a key determinant in the final rating applied.
According to the Skytrax rating system, five stars indicates “very high standards of airport cleanliness and maintenance procedures,” while four stars is “good” and three “average.” Two stars, the lowest possible rating, means that the airport’s anti-COVID-19 protocols “need work.”
The Skytrax report found the general policies relating to COVID-19 procedures are well enforced at Rome Fiumicino Airport, with effective, clearly understood signage and information systems. In high traffic areas of the terminal, the airport has an in-house Bio-Safety Team of 40 that facilitate social distancing and ensure compliance with face mask usage.
To effectively manage passengers and hygiene measures, Rome Airport has consolidated operations to use Terminal 3 for check-in and arrival, and Concourse Gates E for departure and transfer flights. The daily passenger numbers are at approximately 30 percent of the usual levels.
On Sept. 1, the airport opened a 7,000-square-foot COVID-19 testing center which is co-managed with the Italian Red Cross. As previously reported, in-airport pre-flight testing is available for customers on select Alitalia flights between Rome Fiumincino and Milan Linate, allowing only COVID-19-free passengers aboard these services.
“Rome Fiumicino Airport has done an excellent job in delivering COVID-19 protocols that enable a safe environment for customers and staff,” according to Edward Plaisted of Skytrax. “In the core areas of hand hygiene and social distancing the airport has robust procedures in place, and importantly, this is being reinforced by a high-level of attention to terminal sanitization at high-contact points. It is the consistency of these measures that is also notable, and this is an essential factor behind Rome Fiumicino Airport being the first airport in the world to receive the COVID-19 5-Star Airport Rating.”
In customer facing areas, the airport has a visible presence of cleaning staff, and the airport is testing several UV sanitization methods which further enhance hygiene levels at high-contact points such as elevators and escalators. ATP testing of frequently touched surfaces indicated that where staff are applying maintenance this is to a good standard, and the airport continues to assess how this can improve. COVID-19 Airport Ratings are based on scientific study and analysis by Skytrax.
Skytrax expects to rate more airports in North America, the Middle East and Asia in fall 2020 as national borders begin to open.