TAV MACEDONIA: WE ARE REOPENING SKOPJE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND OHRID ST.PAUL THE APOSTLE AIRPORT ON 1st JULY WITH NEW TRAVEL RULES

TAV MACEDONIA: WE ARE REOPENING SKOPJE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND OHRID ST.PAUL THE APOSTLE AIRPORT ON 1st JULY WITH NEW TRAVEL RULES



Passengers will need to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before their flight, wear a protective mask at all times, maintain a physical distance and have a high degree of personal hygiene

According to the Decision of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia from 23th June 2020, for reopening of Skopje International Airport and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport as of 1st July 2020 after its closure on 19th and 15th of March this year, TAV Macedonia informs the public that both airports will be reopened for passenger’ flights starting from next Wednesday, 1st July, with new rules for travel, that have been introduced in order to prevent spread of COVID-19.
- In the period after the closure of Skopje International Airport and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport, in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the country, we intensively prepared for the reopening of the airports. We followed the experiences of other airports around the world to see what they are doing and to use best practices to provide airport services with appropriate hygiene and health care, so that passengers, staff and partners feel safe. We followed the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Airports Council (ACI) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), all in order to take appropriate measures in a timely manner. The most important thing for passengers is the following - to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before their flight, to put on a protective mask before entering the terminal building of the airport and keep it until their journey ends at the exit of terminal at the final destination, to disinfect hands at the entrance of the building and to maintain a constant physical distance, states Alper Ersoy, TAV Macedonia General Manager.

As explained by TAV Macedonia for Skopje International Airport, at Departures, the only open entrance for passengers in the terminal building will be the entrance on "Departures C". Each passenger will have to put on a protective mask, show their flight ticket (printed or on the phone) to our security staff and then go through a shoe disinfection path and then to disinfect his/her hands through contactless hand sanitizer dispenser, placed at the very entrance of the building.
-After the proper disinfection of shoes and hands, all passengers at the entrance of the terminal buildings of both airports will be tested for body temperature, through the thermal cameras that we as an airport operator have procured, in order to prevent entrance of the virus in the airport buildings, for the passengers that are on the way of leaving the state. After they’re scanned with the thermal camera, if they do not have higher body temperature, passengers will be able to proceed to the registration or self-registration counters. What is important for the whole public is to know that only those who travel (have flight tickets) can enter the airport building, not their families and friends who are greeting or meeting them, explains Ersoy.
According to TAV Macedonia, information signs in the form of banners, stickers and billboards are placed everywhere at the airports, in order to remind passengers to keep a physical distance, maintain a high degree of personal hygiene and avoid touching surfaces.
- It is not allowed to sit next to each other on the seats in the airport waiting areas, Departures, Arrivals and Gates, but passengers will have to sit at the appropriate physical distance, and for that purpose the seats are specially marked, explained by TAV Macedonia.
In order to make passengers feel safe, TAV Macedonia has intensified the cleaning and disinfection of all areas of the airports, while the ventilation in the terminal building has also been increased, with the air conditioning system using F9 nano-chemical film-coated filters. Additionally, through the whole terminal building, hand sanitizers are placed.
-Since the first case of COVID-19 in the country, we have started to clean and disinfect more often, more intensively than usual. Especially at the places that are the most susceptible to touch. For example, registration counters, doors and escalator handles, screens, elevator buttons, self-registration and luggage checkpoints, luggage trolleys and all other items identified as commonly touched surfaces, are disinfected 4 times a day. Before the reopening of the airport, we have integrated all this in our new internal rules, which accurately prescribe the method of disinfection and the appropriate means for that purpose, explains Ersoy.
Considering the new travel rules imposed by the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, some of the airport procedures will be slower, says TAV Macedonia General Manager.
In order to avoid unnecessary crowds at registration counters, TAV Macedonia encourages travelers to use the on line check-in option for Skopje Airport, at least 24 hours before departure time. It is available through the airport website, where through special icons each passenger can access the online registration section of the airlines' websites. 
TAV Macedonia emphasizes that in terms of security check, passengers will need to follow the instructions of security agents in a disciplined manner, and there, as in all procedures where queues are expected, it will be necessary to keep the prescribed physical distance for closed areas. All surfaces that come in contact with passengers, at this point, are also disinfected frequently, while the plastic baskets in which passengers place their luggage will be disinfected after the usage.
When exiting the airport building, before entering the corridor, the passenger bridge and then on the airplane, the passengers will have to disinfect their hands, for which TAV Macedonia has set up hands disinfectant dispensaries.  
- We appeal to the passengers to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before the departure time, because at least 1 hour before the departure time they should already be in the boarding zone, i.e. at the Gates. By respecting the enhanced sanitary measures that we have introduced and maintaining physical distance, primarily by us as airport staff and then by our passengers, we will jointly protect ourselves from Coronavirus. Health is the most important thing for all of us. We look forward to serving our passengers again, uniting them with their families and friends, and enabling them to discover new destinations, states Ersoy.
Regarding the flight schedule, which depends not only on the Government's decision for reopening of the airport, but also on the decisions of the airlines, as well as the countries to which destinations airlines flew from Skopje International Airport and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport, before the Coronavirus crisis, TAV Macedonia instructs all passengers to follow both airports’ websites, where the latest flight schedules will be published.
-Since the information about the flights are changing very quickly, we as an airport operator update it as we receive it from the airlines, therefore we appeal to all passengers to follow our websites http://skp.airports.com.mk/ and http://ohd.airports.com.mk where the changes in the flight schedule are updated in real time, explains TAV Macedonia.
Skopje International Airport was closed for passenger flights from March 19th 2020, while Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport from March 15th, with Government Decisions, in order to prevent entry and spread of Coronavirus. In the past 3,5 months, there have been only humanitarian, government, sanitary, medical and military flights at the capital’s airport.
As a result of the stopped operations, the air traffic at Skopje International Airport and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airport, which in the past 10 years has been developing steadily and breaking records in the passengers’ number, in the first five months of 2020 suffered a serious blow. TAV Macedonia, from January until June recorded a 53% decrease in the number of passengers and a 47% decrease in the number of flights, compared to the same period in 2019.

 

Covid19: Travel Safe

- We followed the experiences of other airports around the world and the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Airports Council International (ACI) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), all in order to take appropriate measures in a timely manner.

- The only open entrance for passengers in the terminal building will be the entrance "C", where each passenger will have to go through a shoe disinfection path and then to disinfect his/her hands through contactless hand sanitizer dispensers, placed at the very entrance of the building.

- Next, all passengers at the entrance of the terminal building will be tested for body temperature, through thermal camera. After the thermal scan, if the passenger does not have higher body temperature, he/she will be able to proceed to the check-in counters or self-check-in kiosk.

- Only those who travel (have flight ticket) can enter the terminal building, but not their families and friends who are greeting or meeting them.

- Passengers with reduced mobility (PRMs), elderly passengers or unaccompanied minors (UMs) will be allowed to be accompanied by only one person.

- In order to remind passengers to keep a physical distance, to maintain a high degree of personal hygiene and to avoid touching surfaces, information signs such as banners, stickers and billboards are placed everywhere at the airport.

- Seating areas within the Arrivals, Departures and Gates hall areas are arranged in a way to enable physical distance, and for that purpose the seats are specially marked.

- For passengers’ safety, the cleaning and disinfection of all areas of the airport are intensified, while the ventilation and air conditioning in the terminal building has also been increased and improved, with the air conditioning system using F9 nano-chemical film-coated filters.

- Hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the entire terminal building for the convenience of the passengers.

- The plastic baskets at the security check point in which passengers place their hand luggage and personal belongings will be disinfected after each use, or after every single passenger.

- Passengers must put on a protective mask before entering the terminal building of the airport and keep it until their journey ends at the exit of terminal at the final destination. Passengers not wearing a protective mask will not be allowed to enter the terminal building.

- The only open entrance for passengers in the terminal building will be the entrance Departures "C".

- Prior entering in the terminal building, passengers must show their flight ticket (printed or on their mobile phone) to the security staff at the entrance.

- Each passenger shall walk through a shoe disinfection path and then he/she will disinfect his/her hands through contactless hand sanitizer dispensers, placed at the very entrance of the building.

- After the described disinfection, at the entrance of the airport building, passengers will be tested for body temperature, through a thermal camera that TAV Macedonia provided, in order to prevent entrance of the virus in the airport building. Passengers who don’t have higher body temperature, will be able to proceed to check-in. Our staff will control the thermal camera’ check. If needed, check with a contactless thermometer will be applied as well.

- In order to avoid unnecessary crowds at the check-in counters, TAV Macedonia encourages travelers to use the on line check-in option, open at least 24 hours before departure time. It is available through our website, on the following link: http://skp.airports.com.mk/en-EN/flights/page/web-check-in where through separate icons each passenger can access the online registration section of the airlines' websites.

- If you need to check-in at our counters, our friendly staff will kindly demonstrate you how to present them your flight ticket and how to individually swipe your passport on the registration reader, fixed at the front of check-in counter, in order to avoid physical contact, as much as possible. The same procedure, for a self-registration of the flight ticket and the passport, through our registration readers, will be applied for the boarding process on the Gates.

- Passengers will need to follow the instructions of security agents in a disciplined manner, and there, as in all procedures where queues are expected, it will be necessary to keep a physical distance of at least 1.5 meter.

- Only those who travel can enter the airport building, by showing their flight ticket (printed or on their phones) to our security staff at the entrance “C”.

- The families and friends of the travelers, who are greeting or meeting them, will not be able to enter the airport building.

- Passengers who need a companion (elder people, people with reduced mobility, unaccompanied minors), shall be allowed to be accompanied by only 1 person until the check-in counters. The same rules as for passengers, regarding the personal disinfection, wearing a protective mask and measuring the body temperature, will be applied, for their companion as well.

- We highly recommend to our passengers to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before their flight.

- Due to new measures for protection from COVID-19, some of the airport procedures may take longer time.

- All business and VIP lounge areas are cleaned and disinfected as prescribed by public health authorities with increased frequency based on the air traffic.

- Аdequate protection for staff members which includes personal protective equipment, such as gloves, medical masks, goggles or face shields.

- Information signage and floor markings to encourage physical distancing as well as multiple self-hand sanitizers, alcohol-based with adequate signage for passengers.

- All served products in the lounges will be displayed prepacked in foil therefore all guests will be able to get products as individual packs.

- Self-service options where passengers have limited contact with staff.

- Frequent disinfection of frequently contacted surfaces.

- Separate waste bins are placed for disposal of mask and gloves.

- Tables and chairs are disinfected after being used by our guests.

- All the employees in the outlets shall wear protective equipment. Plexiglas separator has been fixed in order to avoid the contact between cashier and guests.

- At the entrance of the outlets and in the common areas, hand sanitizer units are placed.

- Through guiding signs, guests will be reminded of the physical distancing rules and rules to follow, especially for the lines at order and payment points.

- In all restaurants, the capacity has been reduced and the distance between tables has been increased. Two chairs will be put across to all tables.

- Тrays and plates will be removed from common areas, they’ll be given to guests by the service staff.

- Disposable packed products (salt, sugar, napkins, straws, stirrers) will be handed to our guests by the service staff, while the same products in disposable packages are removed from the common areas.

- For the lines at order and payment points, stickers have been posted on the floor at a distance (1.5m) suitable for social distance.

- Employees shall work using protective equipment.

- All the used equipment in the duty free that comes in contact with the customers, shall be disinfected frequently.

- Guiding signs for the prescribed physical distancing (1.5m) in the shop area for all present persons are placed.

- We encourage customers to use only contactless credit or debit card.

- Strict entrance points in shops will be placed, with an alcohol-based disinfectant liquid machine to be used prior entering the shop.

- Passengers who are not wearing a mask will not be admitted into the store.

- Not more than 10 customers will be allowed at the same time in the shops.

- Passengers need to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before their flight, because at least 1 hour before the departure time they should already be in the boarding zone, i.e. at the Gates.

- During boarding process passengers will be required to show their passport, i.e. travel document and their boarding pass to the boarding agent and to scan their boarding pass by themselves on the boarding passes reader.

- Passengers must wear a protective mask, maintain the prescribed physical distance for indoor areas and keep a high level of personal hygiene.

- Passengers will be divided during disembarkation, by a parallel use of stairs on the back door and passenger-bridge on the front door of the aircraft, in order to reduce congestion.

- After disembarkation, a preventive aircraft disinfection will be made.

- Screening with a thermal camera at the entrance of R.N. Macedonia will be performed by the Ministry of Health before and after Passport Control.

- Hand sanitizer dispensers are available in the Arrivals section (upon entry into the country, near the Passport Control and when exiting from Customs Control).

- The baggage claim waiting area is marked with signage, in order the prescribed physical distance between passengers to be maintained.