Malta International Airport (MIA) has been certified with five stars for its COVID-19 health and safety efforts by a leading air transport audit and research organisation – Skytrax – becoming one of only nine airports worldwide to hold the prestigious rating.
MIA was accorded the highest COVID rating following a three-day audit of the airport’s processes, protocols and premises, conducted by a Skytrax auditor in line with the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Apart from observations of the health and safety protocols employed at the airport’s main passenger touchpoints, a section of the audit was dedicated to the testing of almost 60 frequently touched surfaces, ranging from vending machine buttons to escalator handrails.
The airport reports that tests carried out on security trays used by passengers at the Security Screening Area returned particularly impressive results.
“Coming at a time when we are easing into the restart of tourism, this five-star rating reassures us that we are well-positioned to give incoming guests a safe welcome to the Maltese islands”, said MIA CEO Alan Borg.
“I would like to thank the airport team and all stakeholders for working hand in hand to provide consistently high levels of health and safety along the airport journey, which are doubtlessly more important than ever as we seek to restore consumer confidence in the travel industry.
“The achievement of this coveted industry rating does not mean that we will be resting our laurels. As we brace ourselves for busier summer days, we remain committed to keep evolving the airport experience by taking on board the expert advice provided by Skytrax and focusing on certain areas of operation highlighted in the audit report”, he added.
Skytrax’s 64-page audit report highlighted a number of opportunities for further improvement as well as a good number of strengths observed during the audit. Malta International Airport received glowing praise from Skytrax for its Airport Care Team, whose role in the delivery of a five-star experience in terms of health and safety was described as ‘significant'.
The report also highlighted the diligence of the security and cleaning staff; the availability of hand sanitising stations; the development of consistent signage; and the management of the shopping experience as elements which left a particularly good impression during the audit, elevating the airport to five-star status.
“The high standards of cleanliness throughout the terminal were particularly noteworthy, and this should be highly reassuring to customers travelling in the coming months," said Skytrax Research CEO Edward Plaisted.