Airport Module - Terminal Building


Guidance for the operation of terminal buildings needs to consider all aspects of operations, including who has access to the building, the upkeep of cleanliness and disinfection procedures in place within the terminal building, as well as health measures, the provision of first-aid/medical attention guidance, and the protocols for passengers and staff.


Cleaning and disinfection

  • A written plan for enhanced cleaning and disinfection should be agreed upon by the airport health authority, airport operators and service providers, according to the standard operating procedures outlined in the WHO Guide to Hygiene and Sanitation in Aviation. The plan needs to be updated in terms of process, schedule and products, when new information becomes available. All relevant personnel should be trained on increased disinfection requirements.

  • Cleaning and disinfection of terminal infrastructure and all equipment should be done on a regular basis, in accordance with the aforementioned plan, and its frequency should be increased as needed based on traffic.
  • Increase the availability of cleaning and disinfecting products approved by the applicable authorities.
  • All cleaning and disinfection staff should be made aware of the cleaning and disinfection plan. It is necessary to ensure staff are utilizing products effectively, including the concentration, method and contact time of disinfectants, and addressing areas that are frequently touched and most likely to be contaminated, such as:
    • Airport information desks, passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) desks, check-in areas, immigration/customs areas, security screening areas, boarding areas, etc.
    • Escalators, elevators and lifts, handrails.
    • Washrooms, toilets and baby changing areas.
    • Luggage trolleys and collection points: cleaned with dispensable wet wipes or disinfectants, ensuring that disposal bins are made available.
    • Seats prior to security screening and in boarding/check-in areas.
    • Parking shuttle buses and airside buses.
  • Increase the use of air conditioning and effective filtration systems to keep air clean, reduce re-circulation and increase the fresh-air ratio. Horizontal airflows should be limited. 

Physical distancing

  • Physical distancing is an effective measure to limit transmission of COVID-19 and should be part of a comprehensive package of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing measures in airports should be:
    • At least consistent with what is applied for other transport modes, particularly in urban public transport used for access to and from airports.
    • Applied to the greatest extent possible throughout the airport.
    • Re-evaluated as epidemiological conditions permit.
  • Physical distancing should target reaching at least one (1) metre between all individuals.

  • Mutual recognition of equivalent physical distancing measures that mitigate the health risks at the point of departure and of arrival is encouraged. 

Staff Protection:

  • The level of adequate protection for staff members should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Such protection may include personal protective equipment (PPE), health screening programmes for staff, scheduling (keeping groups of staff in steady teams and shifts), easy alcohol-based hand sanitizer access, specific staff process prior to and after completing a shift, and physical distancing plans for workstations, including the consideration of barriers.
  • Employees should be equipped with PPE based on the risk of exposure (e.g. type of activity) and the transmission dynamics (e.g. droplet spread). PPE could include disposable gloves, masks, goggles or face shields, and gowns or aprons.
  • For staff and teams working shifts, handovers should be conducted in a contact-free manner, i.e. via telephone, videoconference, electronic logs, or at least through physical distancing.
  • Maintenance and repair work in public areas should be prioritized and their schedule adjusted or postponed if it is non-essential.
  • Staff training should maximize the use of online training and virtual classrooms.
  • The use of physical separators between selected staff and passengers is recommended in areas of repeated exchanges and transactions.

Airport Terminal access

  • According to each airport specificities and the national legislation in place, airport terminal access may be restricted to workers, passengers and persons accompanying passengers with disabilities, reduced mobility or unaccompanied minors in an initial phase, as long as it does not create crowds and queues, which would enhance risks of transmission as well as create a potential security vulnerability.
  • Where health screening is required by applicable regulations, non-contact thermometers should be used in a designated area, under conditions which minimize the impact on operations.

Means for uniform implementation

  • Collaborate with relevant authorities to ensure viewpoints are aligned.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders in the community to ensure the timely and accurate dissemination of information to the travelling public.
  • Ensure alignment of measures with other local modes of transport and other infrastructures. 
  • Use the Airport COVID-19 Cleaning / Disinfection Control Sheet (PHC Form 3) or a similar one where appropriate.
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