Costa Rica’s main airport is the first institution in the country to register and obtain the “Ecological Blue Flag for the Promotion of Hygiene Protocols“. This new category of the program promotes a culture of hygiene, as well as access to drinking water and sanitation services for minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.

The award is given within the framework of the return of commercial flights to the Juan Santamaría International Airport (AIJS). It is an effort that AERIS leads with the airport community and the companies that operate at this facility, seeking to provide a safe travel experience.

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“This recognition strengthens the image of the airport as a safe space for all tourists who visit us. Also, it is a clear commitment of the terminal administration to comply with the health protocols that allow progress towards the recovery of the sector”, said Rafael Mencía, Executive Director of AERIS.

The category for Hygiene Promotion was born thanks to an alliance between the Ecological Blue FlagProgram and the Sanitary Quality Seal Program of the National Water Laboratory.

“Given the current situation, we established a union to create the category that encourages hygiene, hand washing with soap and drinking water, as a permanent culture with or without a Pandemic, to avoid the transmission of enteric and respiratory infections in our population.

After a process of diagnosis and evaluation, the Juan Santamaría International Airport receives the first national award for “Hygiene Promotion“, which is very significant in this stage of the gradual opening of international flights,” said Dr. Darner Mora, Director of the AyA National Water Laboratory.

During the border closure, AERIS, the airport administrator, established measures to provide safe and comprehensive care for passengers, as well as for employees of companies that operate within the air terminal.

“Being the first place to receive this certification and in the middle of a return process from commercial flights, is part of our commitment to maintaining safe operations and environmentally responsible actions. Our participation in the program encompasses a series of efforts that for years have promoted sustainability and that today are strengthened with improved health security measures”, said Adriana Bejarano, head of Environment, Health and Safety of AERIS.

After reviewing compliance with the mandatory and complementary certification parameters, the AIJS obtained the flag for Hygiene Promotion, with 3 stars.

Among the actions applied by the Airport Management are:

· Check the quality of drinking water available at AIJS and that it meets the parameters requested by the Ministry of Health.

· Promote access to water services for human consumption, managed safely, that is, with disinfection.

· Promotion for the use of cleaning chemicals free of toxic chemicals.

· Evidencing that all wastewater generated by Airport operations is treated in an adequate Wastewater Treatment System.

· Adequate application of hygiene protocols and handwashing established by the Ministry of Health.

· Installation of hand washes basins and alcohol gel stations in different sectors of the Airport, to ensure the availability of handwashing supplies, both for passengers and employees.

· Management and timely separation of different types of solid waste.

The correct and timely application of these sanitary protocols at the Juan Santamaría International Airport seeks to offer a safe space. This recognition pays for the efforts that AERIS, hand in hand with the authorities, has made for a successful return that allows continuing connecting Costa Rica with the world and contributing to the economic reactivation of the country.

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