Aviation News

SJC is First California Airport to Earn Global Star Rating

Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) is the first California airport to earn global accreditation status for having the highest levels of cleanliness and safety. In the midst of the current pandemic, SJC achieves the distinction according to new recognition from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) and the GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation Program.

To achieve GBAC STAR accreditation, a facility must demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment, and emergency preparedness and response measures.

The airport said that it welcomes the acknowledgment as the accreditation helps reassure the traveling public that it is doing everything possible to protect public safety. Passenger traffic has diminished at airports the world over due to stay-at-home orders and ongoing concerns for air quality and safety in public spaces. SJC joins a growing number of San José facilities that have been GBAC STAR accredited, including the San José McEnery Convention Center, the family of San José Theaters, and numerous San José hotel properties.

“We are extremely honored by this global recognition,” said John Aitken, director of aviation at Mineta San José International Airport. “This GBAC Star rating is the result of ongoing and tireless efforts by our staff and contractors, who as frontline workers, have continued to show up to work every day throughout this pandemic. Their work has kept our airport operational and continues to ensure that everyone here can work and travel safely.”

“San José is a destination that embraces change and leads the way in the travel industry,” says John LaFortune, chief operating officer and interim chief executive officer of Visit San José and parent organization Team San Jose. “With a GBAC accredited airport, convention center, arena, theater venues and hotels, the visitor journey from start to finish will be where health and safety are top priorities.”

The airport has undertaken numerous steps to ensure safe travel since the pandemic began. Numerous health and safety measures have been deployed throughout the airport in response to the COVD-19 pandemic, including:

  • On-site COVID-19 testing facility available to all passengers
  • Face coverings required in all airport facilities.
  • Regular, deep cleanings using electrostatic sprayers to disinfect hard-to-reach areas
  • Hand sanitizing stations in high-touch points areas throughout the Terminals
  • Plexiglass shields installed at ticket counters, gate podiums, and baggage claim offices
  • Social distancing signage to remind passengers to maintain six feet apart
  • Partitions in restrooms between faucets and urinals to provide additional protection
  • All escalator handrails have innovative ultraviolet light (UVC) devices installed to disinfect handrail surfaces killing up to 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses, and restoring a freshly sanitized surface for each person to grasp.

The GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation Program helps public and commercial facilities establish and maintain a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention programs that minimize risk associated with infectious agents and biohazards. The GBAC STAR asserts Mineta San José Airport as having the proper cleaning protocols, procedures, and practices in place to minimize risks associated with infectious agents and biohazards.

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