Tag Archives: Airport

Airline Safety for Workers and Passengers

Airline safety for workers and passengers is critical if we are ever to return to prior levels of travel. Overall, airline travel has been reduced due to COVID-19 concerns by 90% or more. Delta airlines, one of the world’s largest air carriers and employers, has implemented many changes to protect both passengers and employees from the coronavirus.

We are sharing the information published by Delta for your information. You can see Delta’s safety protocols here. Other airlines may have different procedures and protocols – check with your carrier for more information.

Safety Starts at Check-In

When passengers check in, they are required to wear a mask until they reach their destination. Delta’s employees will be wearing them as well . Surfaces are wiped down throughout the day, starting with kiosks and baggage stations. Delta will have plexiglass shields in place at check-in and gate counters by the end of May. Passengers will be encouraged to maintain a safe distance with decals at check-in, at the gate and on all Delta-owned jet bridges. 

Gate Areas and Onboard Aircraft

Delta gate areas and jet bridges are disinfected with electrostatic spraying. Before passengers board, Delta employees follow an extensive cleaning checklist with authority to hold the flight for additional cleaning if they aren’t satisfied. This includes safely sanitizing each aircraft with electrostatic spraying before every flight and wiping down tray tables and seatback screens.

Boarding will occur from back to front and be limited to 10 customers at a time to minimize contact with others. Snack bags with a sanitizing wipe will be distributed at boarding on select flights to reduce onboard service touch points. Every Delta flight is capped at 60 percent capacity and middle seats are blocked for protection.

Delta state that the air on all aircraft is completely recirculated 10 to 30 times per hour with fresh, outside air or through industrial-grade HEPA filters with similar performance to those used in hospital operating rooms and other highly sensitive environments. Announcements will also encourage passengers to take time when deplaning to create distance for those ahead to exit. 

Airline Safety for Workers and Passengers

Airline safety for workers and passengers is equally important. Not only are all onboard employees sharing the risk to provide service, but other workers associated with plane travel are, as well. Baggage handlers, shuttle drivers, rental car agents, TSA screeners and every worker in between is sharing this risk to keep essential travel moving.

Many passengers are also employees, traveling for their own work or business needs.

More Assistance if Injury or Illness Occurs

Workers’ compensation benefits are possible for essential workers exposed to the coronavirus. This is possible for airline employees and may be true for some passengers, on a case-by-case basis.

If you have questions about a potential claim, feel free to contact our firm for assistance. We offer a free case analysis and are happy to discuss your specific circumstances with you.

Prior Articles on Related Topics

Airport 101: Birds, Planes, and Honeybees

Back in October, I was able to attend the Airport 101 educational program offered by the Port of Seattle, in partnership with The Common Acre.  The program is part of the Port 101 Series offered each year and provides the public a chance to tour SeaTac’s airfield and learn about the current challenges facing the Airport, its projected growth and development plans, and its wildlife management program.

SeaTac Airport was the fastest-growing airport in the U.S. for 2014, and it’s not slowing down.  The passenger growth rate was 4.7% for 2013, and 7.7% for 2014.  As of October, the growth rate was already 13.4% for 2015, and this trend is expected to continue over the next 20 years.  The Airport is projected to reach 66 million annual passengers in 2034 (compared to 37.5 million in 2014).  The property’s size constraints (2.5 square miles) present a unique challenge when addressing this rapid growth. 

The Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP) is in development in order to help accommodate this level of growth, meet the needs of travelers, and reduce environmental impacts.  SAMP’s focus areas include airfield enhancements, terminal development, roadway improvements, and expansion opportunities.  Based on projected growth, it is estimated SeaTac will require 35 additional standard aircraft gates and 16 additional international wide-body gates.  The International Arrivals zone is an especially high-need area, with peak passenger levels of 1,700 – 1,900 per hour in an area designed to accommodate 1,200 per hour.

You may recall the story of Captain “Sully” Sullenberger’s emergency landing on the Hudson River back on January 15, 2009, after his plane’s engines were disabled by a huge flock of birds flying directly into them.  The large expanses of open land surrounding most airports have a tendency to attract wildlife which, as Captain Sullenberger learned firsthand, can be dangerous.  In order to both maintain safety and protect local wildlife, SeaTac Airport employs a comprehensive wildlife management program.  SeaTac became the first U.S. airport to employ a full-time biologist back in the 1970s, and became the world’s first airport to utilize aviation radar to detect on- or near-site bird activity in 2007.  The program employs various methods to divert potentially hazardous wildlife – especially large flocking birds – from the airport area, including habitat modification, netting, and fencing.

Habitat modification helped pave the way for SeaTac’s honeybee conservation program.  In partnership with The Common Acre, SeaTac became one of the first airports to host an apiary.  On a 20-acre former golf course, the Port of Seattle planted over 20,000 plants to create a honeybee habitat.  The area became home to 500,000 honeybees in June 2013.  With bee populations in decline, the program’s goal is to help grow and sustain the local population, while contributing to the Port’s conservation efforts.

The program is part of a broader movement to restore honeybee populations, and the hives are managed by the Urban Bee Company, which produces and sells the cultivated honey and beeswax products.

Recommended Viewing: 

A short video about the SeaTac honeybees is available via the Port’s website: Click Here

Also available is a video about the use of aviation radar at SeaTac: Click Here


Photo Credit: Kristen Wolf