France’s second-largest airport platform has taken a broad swathe of actions to improve health protection in its terminals and terminal operations, in a drive to achieve its top priority of protecting the safety of its passengers and personnel. A unique robot that emits ultraviolet light to eliminate viruses in suspension in the air or on surfaces is at the heart of its plan.
Nice Côte d’Azur airport, which has guaranteed an uninterrupted public service since 16 March and continues to strive to offer the best quality of service, in particular in terms of health protection, is making active preparations for the gradual resumption of air traffic. All the measures and tools deployed in the airport’s infrastructures follow the recommendations of the various health authorities (the French Council for Public Health and Ministry of Health) and form part of the work under way with the industry organisations (ACI Europe, the UAF union of French airports).
“In our worldwide analysis of the available options, our top priority has been to identify the best practices in order to offer the healthiest possible conditions to our passengers, our employees and everyone who works in our infrastructures”, states Dominique Thillaud, Chairman of the Board of Aéroports de la Côte d'Azur.
Which is why the Group is deploying an automatic robot that emits virucidal UV light. After successful tests in the airport on 28 April and 7 May, the robot will be used to administer a shock treatment that destroys almost 100% of the bacteria and viruses present in the air or on the treated surfaces. The use of the robot is a prerequisite for the reopening of the terminal and it will optimize the beneficial effects of the usual and necessary cleaning and disinfection operations.
Clean, disinfect and ventilate
This high-technology device is just one part of a broader system.
Disinfection agents will be deployed, in addition to the usual cleaning staff. Dressed in special clothing for the treatment of viruses that is already worn in hospitals, these agents will work with special virucidal surface disinfectants that have been in use since the appearance of COVID-19.
Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed all along the passenger routes, near the self-service registration terminals for passengers and their luggage and at the screening stations. This service completes the strengthening of the health protection measures in all the toilet facilities,
which are now equipped with air and surface purifiers. The system uses a unique and patented technology based on purifying UV radiation that is harmless to health. By operating continuously, it will guarantee that spaces are clean and safe at all times.
Likewise, the terminal ventilation networks will be upgraded with the high-performance filtration of indoor air. The current quality of air treatment will be increased by 50% by replacing the F7-type filter models with F9-type filters, like those used in hospitals. The air treatment filters will be replaced twice as often as before and the ventilation ducts will be disinfected three times as often with a bactericidal and virucidal product that is already used in hospitals.
Social distancing and passenger information
As part of this responsible initiative, but also to make passengers and the employees of the Group and its partners feel confident that their health is not at risk, over the last few weeks, Nice Côte d'Azur Airport has installed special markings to make sure that social distancing is respected when checking in, boarding or reclaiming luggage. The airport’s technical departments have designed made-to-measure Plexiglass partitions to protect airport staff, while continuing to assist and inform passengers.
Everyone in the vicinity or inside the terminals is continually reminded of the various precautions to be taken, both on the airport’s website and by special displays.
Finally, in accordance with the legal obligations applicable to transport, wearing masks will be compulsory for passengers, who can bring their own masks or receive one inside the terminals. Aéroports de la Côte d'Azur personnel who come into contact with passengers will also have to wear masks from 11 May, and for the entire duration decreed by the French government.