Airports Council International recently named Tampa International Airport one of the most hygienic airports in North America as part of the organization’s annual Airport Service Quality awards. Only 33 airports across the globe including five others in North America earned the inaugural award for Best Hygiene Measures.
“From day one, the health and safety of our passengers, guests, and employees has been our top priority, so receiving this recognition is particularly meaningful,” said Airport CEO Joe Lopano. “We have worked tirelessly over the past year to make our guests feel safe when they decide to resume flying. I’m incredibly proud of our team for all the hard work that made this possible.”
The ACI service awards highlight the world’s best airports as judged by their guests, and this year ACI introduced new hygiene-related questions to its passenger surveys to better understand how airports have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The award helps provide TPA and other airports with a reliable method of gauging customer response to new health measures and recognizes airports’ success in responding to the elevated focus on hygiene.
TPA’s hygiene measures date back to early 2020 when the pandemic first came to Florida. Tasked with creating new ways to keep passengers and employees safe, TPA responded with a comprehensive, Airport-wide effort dubbed “TPA Ready” to help limit the spread of germs and viruses.
The program reinforced best practices for social distancing and mask usage, increased the disinfection of high-touch surfaces, added hundreds of plastic shield barriers and thousands of social distancing markers. The Airport also strongly urged passengers and guests to modify behaviors and follow guidelines designed to keep themselves and others healthy and safe.
In October 2020, TPA partnered with BayCare to become the first in the U.S. to offer two types of COVID-19 testing for both arriving and departing passengers. To date, more than 17,000 passengers have been tested.
Passenger numbers at TPA and other airports across the United States are gradually rebounding after a historic drop in 2020. TPA has remained a target market for leisure travel, with airlines launching 16 new flights and resuming flights to more than 25 cities in 2020 alone.