Albany International Airport Awarded Global Biorisk and Health Accreditation

Dec. 22, 2020

Philip Calderone, CEO of the Albany County Airport Authority announced that the Albany International Airport has achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, the Albany International Airport has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfecting and infectious disease prevention in its facilities. 

Calderone also announced that the airport had also received Airport Health Accreditation from Airport's Council International. The Airport Health Measures Audit Program (AHMAP) reviewed and approved the airport's program that measured the effectiveness of all Airport health measures implemented to prevent the spread of infectious disease with the aim of reassuring the traveling public through an on-site audit. 

"These awards represent the industry standards for outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation and validates the Airport's preparedness for biorisk situations such as the COVID-19 virus," said Calderone. "The accreditation confirms the Airport's performance-based program for cleaning, disinfecting and infection prevention, and further verifies the Albany International Airport's dedication to maintaining and carrying out the procedures on a daily basis." 

“There is still a long road ahead before we have a widely distributed vaccine and go back to business as usual. Until that day comes, we need to make sure our key infrastructure and transportation hubs are as safe as possible to stop the spread of the virus. This is especially true as many countries restrict travel from United Kingdom, which is dealing with a potentially more contagious mutation of COVID-19,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “These two accreditations, along with the new rapid testing program and various social distancing guidelines, show that the Albany International Airport and Albany County are taking the health and wellbeing of travelers seriously.” 

Amy Linsebigler, Commercial Director and Chief Scientist for Material Characterization at GE Research, said, “Through our Digital Incubator and the Airport’s implementation of GE’s Wellness Trace App, the Airport has taken proactive, innovative steps to provide a safer environment for airport employees and travelers in the face of one of the worst pandemics in recent history. They have raised the bar and set an example as a true leader in airport safety, and it’s wonderful to see their leadership and efforts being recognized with this coveted industry accreditation.”

The Airport Authority created a COVID-19 Task Force in February of 2020 to plan and implement strategies to meet the challenges of maintaining a safe environment for airport employees and travelers. Among the strategies:

  • Continuous cleaning of all touch surfaces within the airport
  • Implementation of General Electric Wellness Trace App to verify surface cleaning
  • Social Distancing markers
  • Face mask requirement for employees and travelers
  • COVID-19 testing for airport employees
  • Placement of Plexiglas shields at ticket counters and concessions
  • Upgrade terminal air filtration system
  • Installation of hand sanitizer dispensers