Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) has achieved Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) from Airports Council International (ACI) and Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR Facility Accreditation for health and safety measures put in place throughout the airport's facilities.
The AHA program provides airports with an assessment of how aligned their health measures are with ACI Aviation Business Restart and Recovery guidelines and ICAO Council Aviation Restart Task Force recommendations, along with industry best practices.
“Airport passengers and employees deserve safety standards that are not just transparent, but measurable,” said PHL Chief Operations Officer Keith Brune. "Our team is committed to restoring confidence in the safety of air travel.”
The AHA program requires airports to have rigorous and documented standards for cleaning, disinfecting, social distancing and ventilation across its entire physical footprint, from check-in counters to security checkpoints to boarding gates to concessions, baggage claim and more.
“Philadelphia’s travel industry has already done so much to restore consumer confidence during this global crisis,” said PHL CEO Chellie Cameron. “We’re proud to add yet another safety credential to other regional programs like the PHL Hospitality Health Pledge, that will encourage travelers to come back to Philadelphia.”
The (GBAC) STAR Facility Accreditation, considered the gold standard for prepared facilities, helps organizations and businesses prepare for, respond to and recover from biological threats and biohazard situations and real-time crises. PHL joins the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC), Lincoln Financial Field and area hotels in meeting the rigorous standards required of the GBAC program. To receive the accreditation, a facility service provider has:
- Established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus;
- The proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and work practices in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease; and
- Highly informed cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response.
“The accreditation will ensure our passengers, staff and tenants that the Division of Aviation is serious about the health and safety of all those who work and pass through the airport,” said Janet Stressman, PHL Custodial Manager who spearheaded the GBAC Star™ application process. “The accreditation also benefits our Custodial unit to set new goals and try new methods to monitor and improve our cleaning best practices. Through the guidance of the GBAC Star™ Accreditation program, the Custodial team can review our cleaning and disinfecting processes which will enable us to improve and expand upon our cleaning and disinfecting practices moving forward.”
Stressman took on the task of completing the rigorous requirements for the application. The multi-part application included an assessments section that requested details on PHL’s processes for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting as well as supporting documentation. The elements focused on responsibility, risk management, cleaning best practices, purchasing, inventory of chemicals and Personal Protection Equipment and more.
Stressman also noted that the benefits of the accreditation give Custodial team members a certified course in cleaning and disinfecting fundamentals. After the completion of the course and an exam the members will be GBAC Certified under the program. The team will also have access to GBAC resources, such as access to cleaning and disinfecting response protocols, assessment tools for cleaning and disinfecting, project planner guidelines and more.
GBAC is a division of ISSA, the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. GBAC offers education, training, certification, response management and crisis consulting for situations where environments require a much higher level of cleaning, disinfection and restoration.