Alicante-Elche Airport is the gateway for millions of tourists who come to enjoy the Costa Blanca every year along its hundreds of kilometers of magnificent beaches and in lively cities such as Benidorm, or the small coves and attractive nooks and crannies which dot this particular area in the Mediterranean. Likewise, the Alicante terminal is regularly used by European and international residents who live or work in the province of Alicante and its surroundings, as shown by the fact that the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is based just a few kilometers from the airport.
After several years of growth, in 2019 Alicante-Elche Airport achieved its all-time passenger record by handling more than 15 million travellers. Modern and comfortable facilities coupled with an approach focused on enhancing the travel experience of its users through constant improvement of the services it delivers earned Alicante airport two ACI ASQ) Awards in 2018 and 2019.
In 2020, the health crisis and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 had a major impact on air traffic at Alicante-Elche Airport and called for extra efforts to attend to essential flights, reorganize operations, and implement comprehensive health security measures to bring peace of mind to passengers. “This fresh ACI recognition of the Best Hygiene Measures is very important for us,” comments Laura Navarro, Director of Alicante-Elche Airport. “This is especially so because it comes from the surveys carried out with travellers and therefore means that in 2020 we have continued to listen to our passengers to offer them what they need and give them confidence.”
Since March 2020 and as part of the Operational Recovery Plan put in place by Aena, Alicante-Elche Airport and the rest of the company’s airports have brought in numerous measures to deal with COVID-19 following the recommendations of the European Commission, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Spanish health authorities.
Generally speaking, these measures include:
To cite just a few figures, Alicante-Elche Airport has placed more than 4,400 stickers to indicate social distancing, more than 1,300 tape markings to indicate the separation between seats, set up about 300 hand sanitiser dispensers scattered throughout the terminal, installed more than 180 contactless taps and soap dispensers in toilets and put up 275 protective screens at customer service counters.
Likewise, thermal imaging cameras and health checks have been put in place in the arrivals’ hall following the guidelines of the Spanish Government’s Border Health service coupled with significant additions to support staff and healthcare personnel.
“I think it was the right choice to include a section of questions about COVID-19 measures in the ASQ surveys since 2020 has been a very challenging year for airport managers, and we need to know what our passengers think of the measures we are taking,” says Laura Navarro. “This award inspires us to continue along the same lines and get better every day.”
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