Rome Fiumicino: A Systematic Approach to Tackling Coronavirus

A summary of the technology, developments and thorough approach guiding Fiumicino through the coronavirus crisis.

Alitalia aircraft at Rome FCO Airport. Credit: Michele Sirchi (see below).

I recently attended an online webinar hosted by Aviation Week covering the developments in passenger experience post covid-19. One of the speakers was Ivan Bassato, the EVP of Airport Management at Aeroporti di Roma. He covered the efforts of Fiumicino Airport in changing to new passenger needs and the challenges it has raised.

Italy was of course the initial European epicentre of the coronavirus – and its largest aviation hub introduced health and safety measures early on to limit the spread of the virus. The airport introduced thermal screening of passengers both before entry to the terminal and after aircraft disembarkation. Thermal screening comes with a range of benefits: it allows a non-contact method of filtering out symptom carriers from a heavy flow of people, in a reliable and efficient way. Whilst a large portion of carriers could well go undetected using this method, it still works to reduce risk inside the terminal as well as to encourage symptom carrying passengers to not travel in the first place. Fiumicino now has more than 80 thermal scanners to provide an initial safety barrier.

The airport has seen a fast development in technologies in the past few months – and has placed technology at the centre of the AdR strategy against coronavirus. The strategy, alongside thermal screening, introduces technologies to aid in sterilisation and hygiene efforts around the terminals. This includes sanitising all hold luggage before it is placed out on arrival carousels. Technology is also used as a way to determine and monitor levels of passenger distribution throughout the terminals to allow for social distancing to be regulated and kept in place as much as possible. AdR has also implemented an ‘Innovation Lab’, a group of people working on the implementation of new technologies and developments into the airport to seamlessly introduce changes in an effective way which keeps passengers informed and trusting of the measures in place.

Fiumicino continues to observe feedback from both passengers and the air travel market. With a systematic approach to developing to new requirements and needs, the group notes that now, more than ever, communication is vital to spread a sense of trust in air travel.

I hope you enjoyed this article! Feel free to contact me on any of my social media profiles below – I’d love to hear from you! A big thanks has to go to Aviation Week and SITA for organising the online webinar – and of course to Ivan Bassato for his insight into the developments at AdR.

Image used:

“00054 Fiumicino, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy” by Michele Sirchi. View here. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 View license. Image cropped.

I'm an avid writer and airport fanatic. I'm currently studying Airline and Airport Management at Bucks New University and hope to work in airport operations in the future.

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