Istanbul Airport to resume international flights to 40 countries on 10 June

By Andrew Pentol |

Istanbul Airport new imageIstanbul Airport is to gradually resume international flights to 40 countries from tomorrow (10 June).  This follows the resumption of domestic flights on 1 June.

Services at Istanbul Airport, which boasts around 53,000sq m of commercial space had previously been suspended, apart from repatriation and cargo flights.

Restarting aviation, while observing strict measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) is top priority for Istanbul Airport operator İGA Havalimani İşletmesi stkah.

IGA said: “The safety of our passengers has always been the primary concern of Istanbul Airport. That is why we are going further than anyone in the fight against coronavirus. Istanbul Airport’s spacious terminal allows us to implement strict social distancing measures, while retaining comfort for passengers.

“By virtue of this advantage, we call our terminal the terminal with ‘highest social distance.’”

SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES

Passengers must have a valid ticket to enter the airport, to reduce the number of people inside the terminal. “From public transport to the airport, through entrances, check-in, elevators, security, food-courts, duty-free areas and boarding gates, the necessary distance between passengers is ensured at all times.

“Thermal screening cameras are used to monitor body temperatures and thus identify cases of fever,” iGA commented.

All airport areas have been marked according to social distancing guidelines and a dedicated iGA Hygiene Team has been formed to limit the spread of Covid-19.

“Passengers are reminded not to sit too close to each other and to keep distance in queues. This is aided by demarcation on seats, walkways and around the gates.”

The iGA Hygiene Team will wear smart screening helmets to scan people as they enter the airport or wait in line. Each helmet has thermo-scan sensors which provide information about the temperature of passengers and staff in the terminal.

IGA said: “Social distancing footprint stickers are applied to floors in all areas, which people will come across from the moment they arrive at the airport until they leave the airport at their point of destination.”

Passengers must wear masks at times and carry-on luggage will be limited to laptops, handbags, briefcases and baby items.

Istanbul Airport, which is due to open its third runway on 18 June, uses its ventilation system to increase the circulation of fresh air to reduce the risk of droplet infection. Filters are disinfected regularly.

Hand sanitiser is provided at more than 500 locations throughout the airport with additional vending machines for hygienic products. Toilets are equipped with a signalling system showing the occupancy rate.

Social Distancing Istanbul Airport

Strict social distancing measures have been implemented at Istanbul International Airport.

On entering the terminal, special sanitisation mats disinfect passengers’ shoes. Luggage is also disinfected before entering the terminal.

Common areas like toilets, escalators, seating areas and food courts, as well as shared items such as baggage carts and self-check-ins and information screens are disinfected regularly. Passenger bridges are disinfected after each flight. All goods entering the airport will be disinfected on arrival.

Ultraviolet-based tunnels will be installed to disinfect airport security trays and baggage. This is subject to approval from the Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Health.

Staff must wear masks throughout their shifts and ensure they are only in contact with passengers when necessary (security). Special teams regularly disinfect surfaces and appliances, as well as baggage carts.

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH EMPHASIS

Istanbul Airport places strong emphasis on occupational health. IGA explained: “Personnel have received social distancing and hygiene training online and are provided necessary protective equipment relative to their position’s risk level.

“Transportation of employees has been rearranged to meet social distancing guidelines. Furthermore, psychological support programmes have been launched for Istanbul Airport personnel.”

Passengers must complete passenger information forms and provide their destination address to airlines. The purpose of this is to trace possible infection cases and notify anyone they might have had contact with.

Incoming flights from regions with higher case numbers will be routed to designated areas. All incoming international passengers must undertake a Polymerase Chain Reaction test before being permitted to enter the country.

Covid-19 protection measures in Istanbul

Passengers are reminded not to sit too close to each other at the airport.

Currently, there is capacity for 20,000 tests per day. IGA said: “Istanbul Airport has equipped designated testing areas to adhere to social-distancing regulations while retaining maximum passenger-comfort.

“Quarantine rooms, equipped with state-of-the-art medical appliances, will be available in case of emergencies. Istanbul Airport will continuously inform the public about safety measures taken at the airport on all channels, ranging from PA systems in the airport to social media and the iGA App.”

Disposable personal protective equipment used by passengers and staff are collected separately and kept in waste rooms for 72 hours. They are then transported to facilities of the municipality. Waste bins used to dispose of these items are disinfected each time and those in charge of managing this wear protective equipment.

IGA concluded: “Istanbul Airport is certain that aviation can coexist with measures against the spread of the coronavirus and will do everything possible to ensure a seamless operation and to maintain the health and safety of our customers and staff.”

Protective head covering Istanbul Airport

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