Istanbul Airport signs EASA ‘Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol’

posted on 24th June 2020 by Eddie Saunders
Istanbul Airport signs EASA ‘Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol’

Istanbul Airport has signed the “Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol” published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). 

Following the stringent measures taken against the Covid-19 pandemic, Istanbul Airport has now joined the airports that have signed the “Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol” published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). 

Having also qualified to receive the ‘Airport Pandemic Certificate’ from the Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure by satisfying all requirements to the fullest extent, Istanbul Airport has once again manifested by signing the “Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol” that the Covid-19 measures it has taken are in full compliance with the criteria set by EASA. 

Europe’s major airports have signed the protocol… 

The signatory airports of the Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol intended to pave the way for a safe operation of flights across Europe include some major airports in Europe. Istanbul Airport is the first airport in Turkey to sign the protocol that has, to date, been signed by airports in France, Italy, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Austria, and Romania. 

The protocol covers important measures 

The Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) includes a series of diverse measures concerning airports, airline companies, airport staff, service providers, crews, and passengers. 

The main topics addressed in the protocol include inter alia physical distancing for health safety purposes, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, face mask, health safety promotion, cleaning and disinfection, medical report and health status, passenger interview booths, reduced crew – passenger interaction, and special disembarking procedure.  

“Aviation industry can overcome the crisis caused by Covid-19 only if we all act in unison”

Commentating on Istanbul Airport becoming a party to the Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of iGA Airport Operation Inc., Kadri Samsunlu, made following statements while drawing attention to the importance of establishing unified criteria for health safety which is a concern for the entire aviation industry: “Our primary objective subsequent to the outbreak of Covid-19 has been to provide a ‘safe travel at maximum hygiene conditions’ at Istanbul Airport. We took all necessary measures at our airport at a maximum before we resumed flights. Yet it is fact that aviation industry can overcome the crisis caused by Covid-19 only if we all act in unison.

Turkey is ready to do so. We have received our Airport Pandemic Certification from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Hence, we are readily capable to comply with EASA standards. It is of critical importance for airline companies, airports, and with them, also the countries to instill trust both in each other and in passengers if flights are ever to restore their previous state of operations in international terms. All actors in the industry need to take their precautions according to the same level of standardization. To that end, the Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol published by EASA is highly valuable. Our international passengers may travel from/to Istanbul Airport with perfect peace of mind. As an airport that is safe in terms of hygiene and ‘most distanced’ in terms of social distancing, we will for sure continue to exercise the health safety practices prescribed by organizations like ICAO, IATA, WHO even after the pandemic is over.

In this sense, we will never compromise hygiene. I must underline that the Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol signed only by Istanbul Airport in Turkey is a crucial step to achieve this approach. We believe that Europe’s protectionist approach is clearly visible during the pandemic, these actions affecting our industry directly. Turkey’s one of the most important matter is to be able to fly across Europe without any restrictions as soon as possible. We should resume flights and continue our operations where it was interrupted at the end of March 2020. Turkey and Turkish aviation industry takes strong measures during this pandemic. We can easily say we are handling this situation better than the many other European countries.”

Executive Director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, Patrick Ky, stated that; “Aviation is by its nature an international industry. For safe air travel in these times of COVID-19 it is important that all parties take steps to stop the spread of the virus. For this reason, I am delighted to see Istanbul airport, as a major international hub for travel in the European region, signing our Charter and pledging to implement the measures outlined in our guidelines.”