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New rules for LPIA

Local June 2, 2020 at 3:45 am Eyewitness News

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Passengers will need to arrive at least three hours before a scheduled flight and be prepared to follow new safety protocols once the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) resumes full operations. The Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) outlined reactivation plans in anticipation of increased commercial traffic in a statement yesterday. NAD encouraged travelers to stay informed and alert regarding new changes to procedures. Vernice Walkine, President & CEO of NAD said all entities at LPIA will adhere to new operating procedures in an effort to keep airport employees, passengers, and stakeholder partners safe. “As we move closer to accommodating more commercial traffic at LPIA, we are being guided by the advice of local medical professionals,” she said. “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.” Walkine continued: “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.” On March 23, 2020, the government of The Bahamas placed restrictions on international and domestic travel as part of its response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. According to NAD, airport stakeholders including airlines, commercial tenants and government entities are finalizing a comprehensive reactivation plan including recommendations from local Ministry of Health officials, the Centers For Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization. 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 & beverage spaces. Another major change at LPIA, only ticketed passengers and airport employees with valid-IDs will be allowed in the terminal buildings with the exception of persons who may require special assistance (elderly passengers, disabled persons or unaccompanied minors). Physical distancing will also be mandatory at baggage carousels on arrival. Seating in the post-security hold rooms, where passengers wait for outgoing flights, have been reduced by about 30 percent, NAD said. Travelers 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 that best practices are adhered to in their operating spaces, and that where appropriate they offer for sale to the traveling public critical items such as masks, hand sanitizer gels, etc,” the statement read. “This week, plexiglass barriers are 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 Bahamas Customs, Bahamas Immigration and at the rental car facility to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 between passengers and airport workers. “In accordance with emergency orders currently in place, 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.” NAD said airport cleaning teams will continue to sanitize high touch points such as escalator handrails, elevator buttons and door handles, noting investments in additional equipment such as foggers. The company said it will also be acquiring electrostatic sprayers to help the cleaning team apply chemicals in a more efficient and controlled manner over large areas. Deborah Coleby, Vice President of Operations, said: “In addition to increasing the number of push and automated hand sanitizer 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 utilizing hospital grade EPA approved disinfectants which have been proven to kill 99.99 percent of viruses and germs.”

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