Putting health first through innovative partnerships

Introduced in June, our Healthy Airport initiative aims to mitigate the risks associated with the pandemic so that passengers can feel confident when travelling, and trust that we’re doing our part to safeguard their health. Pearson is taking a science- and data-based approach, and we’re working hand in hand with airlines, government, our innovation partners and others to combat COVID-19. Just a few of the actions we’ve taken over the past few months include:

  • Partnering with BlueDot to help us dynamically understand our personalized risk to COVID-19 and 150 other dangerous infectious diseases in near-real time.
  • Installing CleanSlate UV disinfection units in the terminals, which are disinfecting passengers’ devices in just 20 seconds without the use of any chemicals.
  • Sponsoring the McMaster HealthLabs COVID-19 study in partnership with Air Canada, which has seen more than 11,000 passengers enroll since it launched on September 3, 2020.
  • Utilizing a number of UV light applications throughout the airport to disinfect high-tough surfaces and even the air you breathe.

The airport is also moving toward touchless processing, with passengers using their mobile phones to complete steps both in departures and arrivals processes. And we’re reducing human-to-human contact, with technology helping to facilitate interactions between passengers and staff. 

Rigorously enforcing our Healthy Airport policies and practices is resulting in measurable enhancements to health and hygiene practices at Pearson. In fact, in September 2020, 4 out of 5 passengers surveyed responded that they had confidence in the safety and hygiene practices in place at Pearson. Moreover, despite COVID-19, passenger satisfaction ratings have remained strong. Pearson was voted by passengers to be the Best Large Airport in North America (in the ACI Airport Service Quality Awards) three years in a row and the results this year show that we have continued to increase passenger satisfaction levels. 

While this is a positive sign, understanding the changing expectations of our passengers is key to adapting, moving forward and continuing to innovate. We are committed to enhancing existing measures and implementing new initiatives and processes to reduce the risks associated with the pandemic. That is why we recently held a roundtable discussion with three of our Canadian innovation partners, including:

  • Dr. Kamran Khan, a practicing infectious disease physician and founder and CEO of BlueDot
  • Taylor Mann, CEO and co-founder of CleanSlate UV
  • Dr. Vivek Goel, co-principal investigator of the McMaster HealthLabs COVID-19 study, professor at the University of Toronto and a former CEO of Public Health Ontario.

We discussed our ongoing efforts to create a healthy airport environment, including best practices as they relate to health and safety standards, and the science-backed innovations currently in operation at the airport. Highlights from the discussion include:

  • Innovation is critical to facing the disruption we’re experiencing right now
  • It starts with trust. For people to have confidence in travel—or anything else for that matter—they need to trust the process. To accomplish this, decisions must be made based on hard data
  • Time is our most valuable resource, and we need to use it well. We need to move faster and use data and analytics to our advantage
  • We need to think about how we empower individuals to take actions that not only protect themselves, but also benefit others
  • Putting control into people’s hands is important. It helps to give people confidence in the physical space they are entering

Ongoing collaboration is critical and together, we will continue to ensure our approach is best in class, as well as explore all innovative and technologically advanced solutions for ensuring the safety of our passengers and employees.

You can learn more about our Healthy Airport initiative on our Healthy Airport page.

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