Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) has earned two major industry cleaning and safety facility accreditations as part of its robust effort to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus and combat future health threats.
The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which operates MSP, has received the GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation through the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association. MSP has also been earned the Airport Health Accreditation, a program sponsored by Airports Council International (ACI).
“These accreditations require the highest standards for facility cleanliness, safety and operational measures,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the MAC, which operates MSP. “The accreditations are confirmation that through our Travel Confidently MSP program, we are prioritizing the health and safety of travelers and employees in meaningful ways.”
Even before the pandemic hit, MSP was named the best airport in North America in its size category for terminal and washroom cleanliness. In the spring of 2020, the MAC established a COVID-19 response team to elevate cleaning protocols even further to adapt to the new health safety challenges.
To achieve GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation, facilities must demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 elements, which range from proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and work practices to risk assessment strategies and emergency preparedness measures.
“We are grateful for the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s partnership and commitment to GBAC STAR™,” said GBAC Executive Director Patty Olinger. “Together, we will help facilities implement strict protocols for biorisk situations that foster clean, safe and healthy environments now and in the future.”
MSP’s second accreditation, through ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation program, assesses new health measures and procedures in accordance with ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force recommendations. Areas of assessment include cleaning and disinfection, physical distancing where feasible and practical, staff protection, physical layout, passenger communications and passenger facilities.
The Airport Health Accreditation program is also consistent with the recommendations and industry priorities put forward by ACI-North America’s Airport Industry Recovery Advisory Panel.
“Consistency will be the key to a sustained global recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s achievement in being accredited by the ACI Airport Health Accreditation program contributes to a globally-coordinated approach which will foster public confidence in aviation,” said ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira. “I am very impressed in how the Metropolitan Airports Commission has swiftly adapted to new realities to introduce new measures based on globally-consistent protocols.”
Through its Travel Confidently MSP program, that MAC oversees a thorough, multi-layered cleaning and sanitization regimen, requires face coverings, promotes social distancing, provides hundreds of hand sanitizing dispensers throughout its terminals, has built and installed hundreds of Plexiglass shields at customer interaction points, allows for touchless food and beverage ordering and payment, and offers touchless parking through its online, pre-booked parking reservation program.