How we’re working together to safeguard the airport employee experience
As employees at our country’s largest airport, you play a key role in the future of a healthy and robust aviation system in Canada. The changes at our airport as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are significant, but in conjunction with public health authorities and our airport partners, we’re working together to find ways to bring people back to the airport and planes back to the sky safely.
Our commitment to you
The Healthy Airport Commitment is our promise of the health of our passengers and employees. We commit to strong, consistent health standards for everyone travelling and working at our airport, following industry best practices and incorporating innovative technology solutions.
What does a Healthy Airport look like?
It will definitely look different. The GTAA and our airport partners have made major operational changes to the ways our passengers and employees will use the airport to keep them moving and keep it healthy.
Some of the changes include:
- An industry first COVID-19 case log, so workers understand the COVID-19 picture airport-wide
- Over 300 Plexiglass barriers installed, with a total of 600 planned, to provide distance between workers and passengers at check in counters and the CBSA and USCBP halls
- A comprehensive cleaning program, including innovative test programs for deep clean fogging of high traffic areas
- Enhanced indoor air filtering and monitoring, including a public air-quality reporting portal
- Over 5000 signs and decals to remind workers and employees to practice physical distancing
- The GTAA announced that it would be installing Plexiglass barriers separating the front and back seats in all airport-licensed taxis and limos
What you can do
The part you play in keeping yourself and our passengers healthy varies depending on your role, but there are some general practices that we’re asking everyone who works in the airport to observe, to keep us all healthy:
- Wear your mask. Airport workers must follow the face covering requirements of the GTAA Safe Workplace Policy Guideline at all times. Transport Canada no longer allows vented masks with exhaust valves. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you are exempt from the rule provided you have a note from a medical doctor certifying that you are unable to wear a mask, for medical reasons. As such, if asked by GTAA Public Safety Officer, Peel Regional Police or a CATSA screening officer, we suggest letting them know that you have a medical condition. For questions or concerns about mask requirements and accommodation, don’t hesitate to contact your human resources representative or a manager/supervisor on your team. For more on Transport Canada’s mask requirements, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/04/use-of-non-medical-masks-or-face-coverings-in-the-canadian-transportation-system.html.
- Keep your distance. If you haven’t already, ask your manager about alternate work processes that allow for extra space between passengers and coworkers. Two metres is best.
- Practice rigorous hygiene—wash your hands thoroughly, sneeze or cough into your elbow and use sanitizer on your hands
- Stay home if you’re sick, and report COVID-19 symptoms to your employer
- Check the Toronto Pearson COVID-19 Case Log for up to date information on virus transmission at airport employers
- Transport Canada has announced they will implement temperature checks for employees working in passenger areas. We will provide more information on this as the program rolls out.
What’s coming next
The Healthy Airport campaign is an airport-wide initiative to ensure a clean and healthy airport for everyone that comes through our gates. We’ll be providing regular updates here and in the Inside Pearson newsletter where you can learn more.
Enhanced cleaning protocols at Toronto Pearson
From continuously stocked and serviceable hand-sanitizing stations to increased cleaning reporting from our partners, our additional cleaning measures have been put in place to help everyone at the airport feel confident that they are safe while working or travelling.
- We have implemented a four-level approach to disinfecting and are concentrating on high-touch areas, including escalators, moving walkways, handrails, stairways, baggage carts, kiosks and bathrooms. We also now have six autonomous floor cleaners in use throughout the terminals.
- We have also incorporated disinfectant fogging machines that work to disinfect entire sections of the terminal, and we are implementing test programs piloting new cleaning products and technologies. Moving forward, we will be introducing more touchless fixtures and advanced technologies in our washrooms.
- The Link Train has been operating on one train service and the trains are alternated daily. When a train is out of service it is given a deep cleaning immediately followed by a fogging solution to complete the sanitization process. During the day, all touch points on the train in service are sanitized. Masks and physical distancing are also required for all riders.
We are also looking at new innovative ways to keep the airport clean. One of these solutions is an employee/passenger disinfection corridor. This is currently being trialed, and mists employees/passengers with a fresh-smelling, non-toxic saltwater solution (sodium chloride) that will disinfect clothing, luggage and more.
Finally, the GTAA has partnered with BlueDot to monitor and manage risk from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. The Toronto-based technology firm’s outbreak risk software safeguards lives by providing timely information that allows for mitigating measures to be implemented to protect against infectious diseases that threaten human health, security, and prosperity.
Enhanced terminal air quality and monitoring
As we continue to evolve our health response to COVID-19, you may notice a new addition to Terminal 1 and Terminal 3—air quality monitoring stations. Designed to measure particulate in terminal airflow, these stations are part of a larger program to protect employee and passenger health by minimizing exposure to airborne hazards.
The new monitoring stations, pictured below, analyze air particles and report back on airborne contaminants. The monitors are connected to a publicly available online report airquality.torontopearson.com.
In addition to monitoring and reporting on air quality, we’ve made other improvements to terminal air quality to protect passenger and employee health:
- Ensured industry-recommended MERV-13 filters throughout both terminals
- Optimized airflow patterns in our terminal to improve flow and ventilation
We continue to analyze the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic and best practices to ensure a clean and healthy airport for everyone that comes through our gates.
Healthy Airport video series
Installing plexiglass barriers in taxis and limos
We’re committed to taking all measures necessary to ensure a healthier airport environment for employees and passengers. As part of our Healthy Airport Commitment, we’ve covered the cost of installing plexiglass barriers in all airport taxis and limos and provided more than 6,000 pairs of gloves to our drivers. Drivers and passengers and are also required to wear face coverings at all times while inside a vehicle.
Check out the video below to learn more.
We’re committed to taking all measures necessary to ensure a healthier airport environment for employees and passengers. As we adapt, there are some new policies in place at Toronto Pearson.
Watch this video to see how they may change the way we work at the airport and the way our passengers fly.
We now have new technology in place to help protect airport workers and travelers.
Our voluntary disinfection corridor uses a chemical-free spray, safely sanitizing you in a matter of seconds. Check out this video to learn more.
Our role in managing international passengers arriving at Pearson
Our responsibility as airport workers is to safely move passengers through the airport once they’ve arrived with the help and direction of our partners and government agencies.
This process may be familiar to a lot of us, but if you are returning to the airport or need a refresher, this video demonstrates how the process currently works for arriving passengers from international locations.