American Airlines has become the first airline to achieve STAR Accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) for its entire fleet of aircraft and customer lounges. GBAC STAR Accreditation demonstrates that the airline uses proper and effective cleaning and disinfection work practices and procedures, and that systems are in place to prepare for, respond to and recover from pandemics. Here’s what’s involved…
GBAC STAR accreditation is only awarded after a thorough and detailed review by the microbial-pathogenic leaders who are a part of GBAC. Achieving GBAC STAR means that these experts have determined that American’s aircraft and lounges have a comprehensive plan to:
- Establish and maintain a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention programme to minimise risks associated with infectious agents like SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19
- Ensure the proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and work practices are in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease
- Work with highly informed cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response
“By achieving GBAC STAR accreditation, American can further instil confidence in its customers and team that American’s planes and lounges have the proper cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention systems in place to handle biorisks like the novel coronavirus,” said GBAC’s executive director, Patricia Olinger. “We commend American for its commitment to meeting a higher standard of cleaning and disinfection for all of its constituents.”
GBAC is a division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association. GBAC members who reviewed American’s procedures and plans are international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response and recovery.
Multiple layers of cleanliness
GBAC STAR Accreditation builds on American’s multifaceted Clean Commitment strategy to provide customers with peace of mind when travelling. American continuously upgrades its Clean Commitment with the latest scientific data and input from infectious disease experts.
The rigorous cleaning programme uses only Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved products that are safe for team members and customers so that every surface is protected. Planes are cleaned before every flight, including high-touch surfaces like seat buckles, bin handles, seats, tray tables and more. There’s a more thorough deep cleaning on every aircraft, every night. For an additional barrier of protection, American uses an electrostatic spraying solution approved by the EPA to provide defence against coronavirus (COVID-19).
Hospital-grade HEPA filters ensure customers are breathing clean air while on the plane. These HEPA filters are effective at filtering the coronavirus and recirculate the cabin air once every 2 to 4 minutes, which is more frequent than that in most hospital operating rooms.
In addition to clean air and clean planes, the airline has implemented multiple layers of protection for clean spaces under its control in airports. This includes Admirals Club lounges, gate areas, ticket counters, passenger service counters, baggage service offices and team member rooms.