If you’re unsure about air travel this winter, enhanced safety protocols can give you some peace of mind.
Nanaimo Airport (YCD) and its airline partners Air Canada and WestJet have taken comprehensive steps to reduce the coronavirus risk. And new trial programs being conducted in Vancouver and Calgary airports may lead to replacing the 14-day quarantine requirement for domestic and international flights. In Vancouver, for example, passengers could get virus test results in as little as 15 minutes.
“The risk of catching an infection on an aircraft is typically lower than in a shopping centre or office environment,” says the International Air Transport Association, the aviation industry’s global trade organization. And the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency, rates the likelihood of contracting the virus while on flights as “extremely low.”
Nanaimo Airport’s layered approach to airport safety includes a touchless parking app and self baggage tagging at check in (coming soon), mandatory masks and physical distancing. The measures are in addition to enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols that help protect the entire airport community, from travellers to YCD staff to employees of businesses based at YCD.
Once aboard planes, passengers benefit from even more safety protocols implemented by Air Canada and WestJet. The steps range from using hospital-grade disinfectant while defogging planes to screening travellers with temperature checks before boarding.
Powerful HEPA filters in the planes have a bacteria and virus removal efficiency rate of more than 99 per cent. “Very few travelers know that the HEPA filters circulate new air into the cabin 20 to 30 times per hour, and the circulation is primarily top down so any contaminants are removed from the cabin through the floor,” explains Dave Devana, President and CEO of Nanaimo Airport.
YCD connects travellers to airline hubs in Vancouver and Calgary. Both airports are conducting Rapid Testing Programs that could reduce or eliminate the need for passengers to quarantine.
Devana says Nanaimo Airport and its partners continue to make passenger safety the priority. “When our customers are ready to travel we will provide a safety-first environment.”