Cork Airport has become the first Irish airport to be recognised by the Airports Council International (ACI) World and ACI Europe for its commitment to the health and welfare of passengers, staff and the public.
ACI and ACI Europe announced on Tuesday that Cork Airport to be accredited through its new Airport Health Accreditation programme.
ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation programme assists airports by assessing new health measures and procedures introduced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Topics covered by the accreditation include cleaning and disinfection, physical distancing where feasible and practical, staff protection, physical layout, passenger communications and passenger facilities.
ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said:
“Airports are vital cogs in the aviation ecosystem and Cork Airport’s achievement in being the first airport in Ireland to achieve accreditation through ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation programme shows a commitment to health and hygiene which will help to restore passenger confidence in air travel.
“As important engines of growth, wealth creation, and employment, the recovery of the airport sector will be a significant driver of the global and local economic recovery following Covid-19 and Cork Airport has shown it can be an industry leader by completing our programme,” he added.
Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director of Cork Airport said:
“The fact that Cork Airport is the first airport in Ireland and one of the first in the world to be a holder of this international certificate proves that it is always our top priority to ensure the health and safety of our passengers and employees.
“The awarding of the Airport Health Accreditation certificate is also proof that our measures at Cork Airport are at the top of all international standards.
“I should stress that we never ever compromise on the health and safety of our passengers and employees at Cork Airport,” he added.
“This certification will become increasingly important as the Government moves to reopen international travel and the industry and Government collaborate on restoring passenger confidence in travel.” The accreditation comes amid concerns for the future of Cork Airport which, according to management, has felt a “catastrophic impact” from Covid-19.
The Echo revealed on Tuesday that Taoiseach Micheál Martin had spoken to the management of Cork Airport about issues facing the airport and government plans to address international travel over the next six to nine months.
On Monday, management at Cork Airport called on the government to reform the Green List to “restore confidence in international travel” and ensure the future of the airport.
Cork Airport management met with local Oireachtas members today to discuss the impact Covid-19 has had on the airport, and outline a plan for its recovery.
The Taoiseach’s office confirmed to The Echo that Mr Martin spoke to Cork Airport management on Monday afternoon following the briefings.
A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said:
“The Government is acutely aware of the impact that Covid-19 has had on the travel industry, and on the aviation sector in particular.
“Today, a medium term plan for recovery and resilience will be published, which will set out how international travel will be addressed over the next six to nine months.
“Yesterday afternoon, the Taoiseach spoke with the manager of Cork airport about the plan and the issues affecting the airport as a result of the ongoing pandemic.” In its presentation on Monday, Cork Airport said the Covid-19 crisis has had a “catastrophic impact” on Cork Airport’s finances, with passenger numbers falling by 95 percent during lockdown, and not expected to recover to 2019 levels for another four years.
The airport said it will lose around €20 million this year as a result of the pandemic.