Our Task Force
Which measures have been implemented by AdB to cope with the crisis and guarantee corporate continuity?
At the onset of Covid-19 AdB has promptly responded by setting up a permanent task-force composed of the Management Committee and the representatives from the Prevention and Protection Service, Safety and Compliance and Press Office, for a constant update on the actions to be taken and those already in force. Such task force is also constantly liaising with the USMAF – that is, the Maritime, Aviation and Border office - with the competent doctor and with the airport and local authorities for a better coordination even at a regional level.
Moreover, a Committee was set up for the application and assessment of the regulations of the ‘Shared Protocol to control the measures to fight and contain the spread of the Covid-19 in work environments’, protocol which was signed by the Government and the social partners. The Committee is represented by Employers, Trade Unions representatives and the employees spokespersons from the Group’s societies and by the Manager of Legal, Societary and Procurements Affairs.
The first measures implemented concerned passengers, and consisted in the measurement– by some volunteers from the Civil Protection coordinated by USMAF and supported by AdB – of the temperature of all incoming passengers, the installation of sanitizing hand gel dispensers all over the airport and the introduction of billboards about the hygiene measures and precautions to be taken in order to limit the spread of the virus. In a second stage, the temperature was taken also among departing passengers, while some thermoscanners were installed at the Arrivals area allowing for quicker checks.
Hence, following the Regional decree of 23 February AdB has reduced, according to the social distancing measures, all training courses, staff travels and visits from partners, suppliers and external advisors to a minimum, and then cancelled them altogether following the ministerial Decrees at the beginning of March. AdB has started up extra-ordinary sanitation and clearing procedures in the passengers areas, offices and staff areas, requiring all personnel who had been in the ‘red zones’ not to go to work and activate a self-quarantine policy.
In order to limit the spread of the virus and at the same time ensure continuity of airport activities, smart-working has been promoted for the administrative staff, and a roaster of staff involved in more strategical operations has been implemented in view of a contingency plan.
Following the steady reduction in air traffic – due to the several national and international ordinances and the flight cancellations by the Airlines – and with the aim of reducing labour cost and at the same time safeguarding the current occupational levels, a scheme of unused holiday period allocation has been implemented, then followed by one of extraordinary unemployment benefits for all staff.
In order to reduce costs and protect the cash flow, the Group has provided for a mitigation plan including the reduction in non-essential costs, the total ban of employment of new personnel and the missed renewal of the temporary contracts.
Some closures have also been set up of certain airport areas in line with operational requirements. Some entrance doors to the terminal building have also been closed. In compliance with current regulations, most stores and restaurants or bars have been closed. Only the supermarket, the pharmacy, the bar near the security checks and the ATM point are open. Most car rentals are also open. The MBL and the staff gym are closed. The company canteen instead – respecting some social distancing measures – is open.
The parking lots have been progressively emptied and therefore most of the parkings were closed, except for P 1 and 2.In order to keep to a minimum the inconvenience experienced by our customers who, due to the circulation ban, could not collect their vehicles from our parkings on the set date, our Group decided not to charge them with any additional cost beyond the planned stay.
AT the same time, the airport turned into a parking stand for aircraft: there are about 10 of them, waiting to be able to fly after the crisis.
As well as the task-force, which other measures has AdB implemented?
The health of all passengers, employees and partners is an absolute priority for Bologna Airport.
The AdB task-force is in direct contact with the health bodies as well as other governmental bodies to ensure a continuous flow of information and a smooth coordination of measures.
Passengers are informed about the current regulations and the airport operations through our internet website and our social networks.
Employees can find all information regarding the actions to fight Covid-19 on the company Intranet. Moreover, in all common areas information signs are providing information on limiting the use of lifts, reminding users to maintain social distancing and promoting the use of the sanitizing gels.
The Document of Risk Assessment was updated, which outlines the company behaviour to adopt and which equipment to use in different work environments. Face masks, gloves and protection goggles are available to all personnel in contact with the public. In particular, at the security checkpoints a new procedure was adopted, called ‘Best’, which allows for a passenger search standing at their back, hence limiting any chance of infection.
All staff are also asked – through additional signs at the clock-in post – to regularly monitor their health condition and not to show up at work in case of high temperature, cough and breathing difficulty.
Our competent pratictioner is available to all staff for any distant advice, while our pshychologist has activated a remote psychological service with online appointments on demand.
Among the measures implemented, we thought that a specific Covid-19 health insurance was particularly relevant in cases of infection.
On the financial side, we would like to highlight how AdB BOD decided, following a precautionary attitude with regard to an exceptional circumstance such as the Covid-19’s, to suggest, differently from what has been carried out recently, not to redistribute the profits and allocate them – around 20.9 million Euros – by 5% as a statutory reserve and by the remaining 95% as extraordinary reserve. This was performed with the aim of strengthening the company assets and allowing the group to cope with the current emergency in the best possible way.
Why is the Airport open?
Despite the severe restrictions on travel all over the world, there are still planes landing and taking off from Bologna airport. Why?
Bologna airport is open and operative in compliance with the Decree of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport n 112 of 12 March, but flights are restricted to a minimum, considering the gradual cancellations made by all airlines.
Right now, active flights are in place mainly to bring home our national citizens and to allow foreign passengers to go back home. The airport ensures an essential public service and hence remains open as a service for all those who really need to move, to provide for the ‘life-saving’ flights to land and take-off, and to allow cargo such as raw materials and urgent medical equipment to reach their destinations in the companies, pharmacies and hospitals.
In particular, in the last few days a number of cargo flights have landed at Bologna airport from China with health material for Emilia Romagna health structures. Moreover, still through our airport 52 voluntary nurses have come to our region employed by the national Civil Protection and destined to work in hospitals in the north of Italy.
Let's spread our wings again
In view of the progressive resuming of flights and travel, what measures and procedures to protect the passengers’ safety, as well as the safety of all those working within the airport have been adopted by the airport?
Here is how the airport has adapted to the necessary emergency scenario and the rules in force, in order to safely access the passenger Terminal and all the other terminal areas:
- It is mandatory to wear a face mask for all people – passengers and workers alike – accessing the Terminal and moving within the common areas of the airport infrastructures;
- All departing and arriving passengers will have their temperature taken through a thermal scanner: if the temperature of the departing passenger is as high as 37.5° C, or higher, travel will not be allowed and health institutions will be informed; if the temperature of the arriving passenger is as high as 37.5°C, likewise, the local health institutions will be informed;
- Throughout the whole terminal building you will find hand sanitising dispensers, with the invitation to frequently make use of them;
- Physical distancing of at least 1 meter from each other is required during all operations within the airport, including those concerning luggage reclaim upon arrival; such obligation is marked with horizontal signage in the queuing areas and it is reminded with audio and visual messages on the information screens throughout the whole building;
- On the check-in and boarding gates desks some plexiglass panels have been set up to separate passengers from staff while handing over travel documents. It is anyway recommended to check in online or self-check in whenever possible, and to use digital tools for the handling and storing of one’s boarding pass;
- At the departure security checkpoints (at the entrance to the Terminal, for arriving passengers) you will be requested to hand in your certification with the reasons for travel. We recommend you have it ready and filled in to speed up operations, even if the airport security staff will be able to give you one in case you need it;
- A new method to check passengers on departure has been adopted and approved, and has been in force for a few months, allowing for the Security staff to check each passenger by standing at their back instead of in front of them, in order to keep safer distances;
- To ensure the necessary distance is respected, part of the seats in the waiting areas have been marked with panels saying they are not accessible;
- The flows of departing and arriving passengers have been separated with differentiated routes;
- Whenever possible, disembarkation and boarding of passengers will be performed on foot rather than by coach to allow for quicker airport procedures;
- All areas in the Terminal building are cleaned and disinfected several times a day with chlorine-based fluids. Furthermore, regular sanitizing procedures are carried out on baggage trolleys and objects trays at the security checkpoints;
- The air conditioning systems in the Terminal building and in all airport areas and offices, which also avail of highly efficient filters wherever a high number of people are likely to gather, are sanitized with specific products and guarantee a constant air intake from the outside as well as an airflow from above heading downwards.
To guarantee compliance with the above mentioned health measures, boarding times may be longer than expected: we therefore kindly invite all passengers to turn up at least 2 hours ahead of the departure time and anyway follow the airline’s instructions.
The future of the Airport
How will this pandemic impact on the future of the airport?
Our 2019 year ended with extremely positive results which reinforced our asset and equity soundness. Nevertheless, 2020 will be a very hard year for us all in the aviation industry and the impact will be more severe than in the previous 2001 and 2008 recession periods. On the other hand, we are convinced that air traffic transport will be a key factor in the economic restart, once the travel bans are lifted.
Now is a time for us to think of a ‘phase 2’ and beyond, to be ready when the aviation world takes off again.
Covid-19: the answers to all your questions