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Airport Cuts Departure Area Seating By 30%

Seating in post-security departure areas at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) has been reduced by 30 percent as part of multiple health-related measures to combat COVID-19.

The Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD), LPIA’s operator, said in a statement yesterday that only airport workers with valid identifications and airline passengers possessing the necessary tickets will be allowed into the airport’s terminal buildings going forward.

Part of NAD’s plan to limit the number of persons inside its buildings, the airport operator said the only exceptions to this rule will apply to those accompanying elderly and disabled passengers or minors.

The changes come as NAD confirmed that LPIA stakeholders, including airlines, commercial tenants and government entities, are finalising a comprehensive post-COVID-19 reactivation plan including recommendations from local Ministry of Health officials, the US Centres For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organisation and the Pan American Health Organisation.

Vernice Walkine, NAD’s president and chief executive, said all companies at LPIA will adhere to new operating procedures to keep airport employees, passengers and others safe.

“As we move closer to accommodating more commercial traffic at LPIA, we are being guided by the advice of local medical professionals. We’re also working closely within the Vantage Airport Group network of ten global airports to share best practices for implementing new protocols in a dynamic airport environment,” Ms Walkine said. Vantage is NAD’s operating partner.

She added: “We are putting the necessary measures in place to ensure the safety of our employees, passengers and airport partners. Once commercial travel ramps up, there will be visible and necessary changes to the way we conduct business in-terminal. Even with the changes, our commitment to providing the best experience for LPIA users remains the same.”

To observe social distancing guidelines required in public spaces, floor markers and signage are in place at check-in areas, pre-board security screening checkpoints, Customs and immigration halls and in retail and food and beverage spaces.

Physical distancing will also be mandatory at baggage carousels on arrival, and travellers will also notice a reduction in the amount of seating in the food court and in check-in halls.

Additional stanchions and barriers have been added to limit crowding in public areas in the terminals. NAD’s commercial development team is working directly with commercial tenants to ensure best practices are complied with in their operating spaces and, where appropriate, they offer for sale to the travelling public critical items such as masks and hand sanitizer gels.

Plexiglass barriers are this week being installed in the check-in halls in Terminal A and Terminal C, as well as at boarding gates. Additional barriers will be installed in Customs, Immigration and at the rental car facility to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 between passengers and airport workers.

All airport workers and passengers will be required to wear a mask or facial covering inside the airport terminals. Amenities such as the water fountains and children’s play areas will remain closed until further notice.

Airport cleaning teams will continue to sanitise frequent touch points such as escalator hand rails, elevator buttons and door handles. NAD recently invested in additional equipment, such as foggers, and will be acquiring electrostatic sprayers to help the cleaning team apply chemicals in a more efficient and controlled manner over large areas.

The LPIA has also placed signage in all washroom facilities reminding users to engage in good hygiene practices.

“In addition to increasing the number of push and automated hand sanitiser stations, we’ve also enhanced cleaning measures throughout our facilities. LPIA is known for its attention to detail as it relates to cleaning and our high customer satisfaction ratings speak to this. We’ve escalated the cleaning regimen in-terminal by utilizsing hospital grade EPA approved disinfectants which have been proven to kill 99.99 percent of viruses and germs,” Deborah Coleby, NAD’s vice-president of operations, explained.

Once LPIA resumes full operations, passengers should arrive at least three hours before a scheduled flight and be prepared to follow all safety protocols while at the airport.

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