Airport Business

JUN-JUL 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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20 airportbusiness June/July 2018 COVER STORY technology can keep cleaning staff on top of unexpected surges in bathroom traffic. "I know in most airport operation groups have a huge weather map, they understand weather patterns, they're rebooking flights well in advance of weather events," he said. "I don't think the cleaning crew has a weather map saying 'oh, I think there's weather coming, I better staff up today,' but it's certainly effecting what they do every day." Tracy Davis, vice president of Infax, said the Trax smart restroom system is a business intelligence platform to monitor the movement of people and assets in order to improve operational efficiency while improving the overall passenger experience. "We all know that restrooms are one of the top three complaints throughout the traveler's journey and airports really recognize that," she said. "They want to do all that they can to show a passenger that look, we hear you, we're helping improve it, we're giving you a voice to help improve it so the overall operations are efficient and the experience it top notch." The Houston Airport System (HAS) undertook a pilot smart restroom project in 2017. Davis said staff used data to find traffic trends so they could reallocate staff to the location during busier times. They looked into the issues and discovered the automatic flush sensors were not working properly. They also discovered an issue with paper quality, which would shed onto the floor making the restroom looked uncleaned. Davis said airports looking at smart restrooms should consider network infrastructure, if they want to use its existing IT network or do they want to use a provided network. They also need to consider pulling power to the location and what steps need to be taken. "If they can get through that initial hurdle, then the system is really easy to install," she said. Smart restrooms have a strong return on investment for all sized facilities. "The return comes back in that guest experience," she said. "It comes back in awards. Houston got named four stars by Skytrax. "It comes back in really seeing an operational efficiency improvement, which might not be directly in dollars, but you can KEEP TRAVELERS HEALTHY IN YOUR AIRPORT FACILITY By Robert Kravitz ON JAN. 13, the New Jersey Department of Health said that an international traveler with a confirmed case of measles arrived at Terminal C at Newark Airport and left several hours later in the day for Indianapolis. The department sent out a bulletin about this to help reach passengers on this person's flight. Further, there were concerns because the passenger was in the building for several hours. During this time, the passenger likely touched a variety of different surfaces, possibly spreading the disease to others. Most travelers think they are more likely to contract a disease, such as the measles, while in the air sitting near or next to someone with the disease. But the reality is diseases can spread just as easily on the ground, in the airline terminal. This is true of scores of different viruses and other diseases. In fact, it's what cross-contamination is all about. To explain, let's use measles as an example. Measles can be spread through the air when someone with the illness coughs or sneezes. But the same cough and sneeze can also spread germs onto high-touch surfaces nearby. When someone else touches these contaminated surfaces and then touches their eyes, mouth, or nose, the process of cross contamination can begin. About the only way airport administrators can stop the spread of diseases such as this is through effective cleaning. One of the "mantras" of the professional cleaning industry is that the goal of the industry is to "clean for health." This is a perfect example of this mantra in action. Stopping the Spread of Disease So what steps can administrators and their custodial crews take to help prevent the spread of disease in their facility? Among them are the following: Know where the germs are. A 2018 study by, found that it is not restrooms that are the most pathogen ridden areas in an airport, but the touch screens of self-check terminals. Their study of 15 different airports also found that bench armrests and water fountain controls were also more germ ridden then the restroom surfaces. Establish benchmarks. Using touch screens as an example, we can use an ATP monitoring system to determine if potentially hazardous pathogens are on a surface and in what quantity. Adenosine triphosphate bioluminescence, better known as ATP, does not indicate if specific pathogens are present on the screen. It just indicates that they might be present and in what numbers. Testing the surface before cleaning with an ATP monitoring system and then again after cleaning helps establish benchmarks, indicating readings when the surface is soiled and again after an effective cleaning. With this information, we can better determine when cleaning is necessary and by testing after cleaning we can ensure that we have accomplished our goal of effectively removing pathogens. Knowing how to clean. According to Mike Watt, director of training with Avmor, a manufacturer of professional cleaning solutions, this is often the big stumbling block to effective cleaning in busy locations such as airports. "Cleaning workers often do not use cleaning solutions and disinfectants correctly. The result is that they may have wiped a surface with a cleaning solution and even used a disinfectant, but that surface may still have pathogens present that can cause disease." The Proper Way to Use Cleaning Solutions and Disinfectants Because the proper use of cleaning solutions and most disinfectants is such a critical issue, let's explore this a bit further. Watt says the first thing we need to know is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. "Cleaning is the removal of visible soil on a surface. Disinfection refers to the 'killing' of microorganisms and pathogens on surfaces that can cause disease." Using a water fountain as an example, Watt suggests that the water fountain surfaces and controls all be cleaned first with an all-purpose cleaner. Read more:

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