Airport Module - Terminal Airside Area


The post-security terminal airside area is an area of high passenger traffic with few physical barriers and usually wide-open space. Consideration needs to be given to the temporary need for physical distancing, while also providing passengers with access to the retail, duty-free concessions and food and beverage offerings.

Gate areas, VIP lounges and other services in this area also see a high passenger volume. Various flow monitoring tools, physical installations, floor markings and adapted wayfinding need to be evaluated and deployed. Enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures may need to be scheduled and deployed to contribute to the limiting of the virus spread.


  • Encourage the use of self-service options, established in compliance with local health authority guidelines where passengers have limited contact with retail, food and beverage staff.
  • An orderly boarding process will be necessary to reduce physical contact between passengers, especially once load-factors start increasing. Close cooperation between the airline, airport and government is vital. Airlines will need to revise their current boarding processes. Airports may need to assist in redesigning gate areas and governments may need to adapt applicable rules and regulations. The increased use of automation, such as self-scanning and biometrics should be facilitated.
  • Especially during the early stages of the restart phase, carry-on baggage that would need to use the overhead bins should be limited to facilitate a smooth boarding process.
  • Where possible, implementation of self-boarding technologies at the gate should be considered, including units using automatic doors, integrated boarding pass readers, LCD displays for passenger instructions and a device for printing seat assignment changes.
  • Increase use of all other opportunities of self-scanning of documents when identification is needed.
  • As a temporary measure, sitting areas (e.g., lounges, gates, restaurants) can open at limited capacity to accommodate the short-term need for physical distancing. As the recovery phase progresses and health requirements evolve, a return to regular capacity can be contemplated.
  • Temporary closing or enhanced monitoring of certain service areas should be considered, based on the stage of mitigation measures, such as:
    • Self-service buffet food;
    • Café seating or multi-purpose seating;
    • Smoking areas; and
    • Children's play areas.

  • Multiple alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations should be made available throughout the airport with adequate signage for passengers.
  • Installation of touch-free equipment in toilet facilities such as the following should be considered:

    • Automated door systems;
    • Automatic toilet flushing system;
    • Taps and soap/hand sanitizer dispensers; and
    • Automated hand towel dispensers.

Means for uniform implementation

  • Work with retail, food and beverage concessions to ensure the use of contactless technology payment options and self-serve options.
  •  Involve airline stakeholders in measures needed in airport lounges.
  •  Collaborate with relevant authorities, airlines and other aviation stakeholders for cost-effective solutions that protect the public.
  •  Use the Airport COVID-19 Cleaning / Disinfection Control Sheet (PHC Form 3) or a similar one where appropriate.
  • To help shops, food and beverage outlets, and other in-airport suppliers to demonstrate that they follow the ICAO / CART guidelines, ACI has developed guidance that can be found at LINK
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