COVID 19 | More details
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 Legal, Corporate Affairs and Procurement Director.
The first actions put in place concerned passengers, involving the monitoring of the body temperature of all passengers on arrival, carried out by some Civil Protection volunteers coordinated by Usmaf with the support of AdB, the installation of sanitising gel dispensers throughout the airport and the introduction of billboards with information on hygiene measures and precautions to follow in order to limit the spread of the virus. The temperature monitoring was subsequently extended to departing passengers, first through laser thermometres, then through the installation of the latest generation thermal scanners. Finally, in the current phase, thermal scanners have also been installed at the entrances to the passenger terminal. Temperature monitoring is therefore presently carried out on all people entering the terminal: passengers, airport operators and governmental agencies staff. At the same time, anyone accompanying passengers, both on departure and on arrival, cannot access the terminal, and so waiting areas have been set up outside the terminal. At present, this prohibition is only in place when crowdings may occur.
Consequently, following the Regional decree of 23rd February 2020 and in view of the social distancing resctrictions, AdB has reduced all the 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 the continuity of airport activities, smart-working has been promoted for the administrative staff, and a roster 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 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 of non-essential costs, the total ban on employing new personnel and the missed renewal of temporary contracts.
Some airport areas have been closed in line with operational requirements, along with some entrance doors to the terminal building. In compliance with current regulations, most stores and restaurants or bars have been closed. Only the supermarket, the pharmacy, the bar next to the security checks and the ATM points are open. Most car rentals are also open. The MBL and the staff gym are closed. The company canteen is open with the social distancing measures in place.
The parking lots have been progressively emptied and therefore most of them remained closed, except for P 1 and 2.
At the same time, the airport was transformed into an aircraft parking area: during the lockdown there were about ten planes parked at Bologna airport, awaiting clearance to depart after the crisis.
Since the end of the lockdown, the airlines have gradually reactivated connections to/from Bologna. In line with the resuming of flights, commercial services have also restarted. The Marconi Business Lounge was reopened on the 1st of July 2020.
However, after Summer 2020 a new pandemic wave arrived. The rules to prevent the spread of the virus have strongly discouraged travel and consequently airlines have once again reduced the connections.
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 institutions to ensure a continuous flow of information and a smooth coordination of actions.
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 which is constantly updated. Moreover, in all common areas signs have been placed to provide information on limiting the use of lifts, reminding users to maintain social distancing and promoting the use of the sanitising gel.
Following the crisis evolution, the Document of Risk Assessment, which outlines the company behaviour to adopt and what equipment to use in different work environments, has been updated several times. 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 the chance of virus transmission.
All staff are also asked – through additional signs at the clock-in machine– to regularly monitor their health condition and not show up at work in case of high temperature, cough and breathing difficulty.
Watch the video with the new body temperature monitoring system in the offices.
Our competent doctor is available for employees for face-to-face and remote consultations; in addition, a counselling service managed by a psychologist and psychotherapist, has always remained active in presence or online, depending on the regulatory provisions that have followed.
Among the measures implemented in 2020 we have been offering a new supplementary health care insurance coverage specific for Covid-19 to guarantee health and safety of all our staff. Coverage has also been renewed for 2021.
On the financial side, we would like to highlight that AdB BOD decided, following a precautionary act with regard to an exceptional circumstance such as the Covid-19’s, differently from what was recently done, not to redistribute the profits and allocate them – that is around 20.9 million Euros – by 5% as statutory reserves 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.
The BOD’s proposal was approved by the Shareholders' Meeting on the 30th of March 2020.
Why has the airport always been open?
Bologna Airport has always remained open and operational in compliance with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport’s Decree no. 112 of 12th March, even if the flights were reduced to a minimum. Bologna Airport, however, has guaranteed an essential public service to all those who have had the need and urgency to travel, and for the transport of medical supplies with cargo flights. Equipment and supplies of medical and sanitary material, including vaccines, have been arriving in Bologna to help combat the impact of the pandemic.
Since the end of the lockdown, the airlines have gradually reactivated connections to / from Bologna. However, after Summer 2020, a new pandemic wave has occurred affecting almost the entire planet. Consequently, the regulations aimed at avoiding the spread of the virus and securing the health situation have strongly discouraged travel, resulting in airlines reducing connections once more.
Our hope for 2021 is that mass vaccinations will lead to a progressive resolution of the present situation, which should then result in a progressive recovery of national and international connections.
Let's spread our wings again
With the progressive resuming of flights and travel, what measures and procedures have been adopted by the airport to protect passengers’ safety, as well as the safety of all those working within 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;
- Whenever anyone enters the terminal, their body temperature is measured with a thermoscanner: if the temperature is as high as 37.5° C or higher, they cannot enter the terminal and more checks will follow;
- Body temperature monitoring is also carried out with a thermoscanner at departures and arrivals;
- Throughout the whole terminal building you will find hand sanitising gel dispensers, and all are kindly invited to frequently use them;
- Physical distancing of at least 1 metre from each other is required during all operations within the airport, including those concerning baggage 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;
- At the check-in and boarding gates desks some plexiglas 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;
- A new method to search passengers on departure has been adopted and approved, and has been in force for a few months, allowing for the Security staff to search 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 indicating 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;
- 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 sanitised with specific products and guarantee a constant air intake from the outside, as well as an airflow from above heading downwards;
- All areas in the Terminal building are intensively cleaned and disinfected several times a day with chlorine-based fluids. Furthermore, regular sanitising procedures are carried out on baggage trolleys and objects trays at the security checkpoints; molecular fragmentation sanitation systems were added to the already intense sanitising activities. Marconi Airport is the first airport in Italy to use this innovative technology. Watch and discover how it works:
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 their departure time and anyway follow their airline’s instructions.
Access to the boarding area is permitted to passengers whose flight is departing in the next 210 minutes.
Thanks to these actions, in August 2020 Bologna Marconi Airport obtained - first airport in Italy and among the first in the World - the Airport Health Accreditation issued by Airport Council International (ACI) World and ACI Europe.
The AHA program evaluates the health measures and procedures introduced by airports following the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO - Council Aviation Recovery Task Force), in line with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Aviation Health Safety Protocol and the ACI Europe guidelines for an Healthy Passenger Experience at airports.
Topics covered by accreditation include: cleaning and disinfection, physical distances, personnel protection, passenger communications and passenger facilities.
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. 2020 was a considerably challenging year for us all in the aviation industry and the impact has been 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 travel bans are lifted.
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