Hamad International gets five-star COVID safety rating

The audit conducted by Skytrax evaluates the quality of health and safety measures

Hamad International Airport (HIA) has been awarded a five-star COVID-19 Airport safety rating by Skytrax.

HIA is the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to receive the accreditation.

The audit was conducted over a three-day period in October. It is based on factors such as procedural efficiency checks, visual observation analysis and ATP sampling tests.

Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at HIA, is immensely proud of the five-star rating: “Since the inauguration of Hamad International Airport in 2014, Skytrax ranking has always played an important role in HIA’s self-assessment and served as a quality benchmark to keep up passenger expectations and operational excellence.

“HIA prides itself on its status as a five star airport for the fourth consecutive year, and a five-star COVID-19 airport by Skytrax.”

The independent analysis assesses over 400 factors in a typical airport travel sequence, specifically looking at COVID-19 hygiene and safety measures.

Social distancing procedures and hand hygiene facilities across the terminal were evaluated. Cleaning effectiveness was also a factor, as well as identifying any potential contamination sources to ensure hygiene standards complied with strict requirements.

“Hamad International Airport has achieved great success in delivering COVID-19 protocols that are providing a safe environment for customers and staff,” said Edward Plaisted of Skytrax, “In areas such as hand hygiene and social distancing, Hamad International Airport has good procedures in place.”

Skytrax also inspected all personal protective equipment (PPE) used by staff, alongside the use of thermal temperature screening procedures and face mask regulations.

Recently, the airport has installed 15 PPE vending machines across the terminal so that passengers have easy access to equipment such as masks, gloves, hand sanitisers and face shields.

UV disinfectant robots function at the airport by emitting concentrated UV-C light that eliminates the majority of infectious microorganisms. The robots are mostly used in vulnerable high passenger flow areas, reducing the spread of potential pathogens.

Another advancement made at HIA is the installation of C2 technology. The security screening system reduces potential cross-contamination in passenger carry-on bags. This helps limit human contact, making the process safer and faster.

Smart screening helmets are also widely used at HIA. They provide a contactless temperature reading whilst being portable and safe to use.

Biometric identification technology has recently been introduced at the airport, creating a contactless and paperless experience for customers.