Rome’s Fiumicino Airport is world’s first to earn 5-star ‘COVID-19’ safety rating

When in Rome… take some time to enjoy the COVID-compliant safety protocol at the city’s largest airport.

The Rome-Fiumicino International Airport (FCO), also known as the Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport, has become the first in the world to earn a “COVID-19 5-star airport rating” from Skytrax, a U.K.-based airport and airline review firm.

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“The COVID-19 systems and procedures put in place across Rome Fiumicino Airport are meeting a rigorous standard, and Skytrax verified the frontline success of the implementation for keeping airport staff and customers safe,” reported Skytrax, which is probably best known for its annual airline rankings, in a media release.

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Specifically, Skytrax lauded Fiumicino Airport for consolidating all arriving and departing flights to Terminal C, where auditors for Skytrax observed “well-enforced” social distancing and mask policies, which were communicated with “effective signage” and enforced by a “Bio-Safety team” of 40 persons.

Cleaning staff were also visibly present in customer-facing areas, Skytrax reported. The airport is also reported to be testing new UV disinfection methods at customer touchpoints.

Monorail road for transport between the terminals of Fiumicino International Airport. Rome–Fiumicino International Airport "Leonardo da Vinci" is one of the busiest airports in Europe, with 41.7 million passengers served in 2016. It covers an area of 29 square kilometres.

Monorail road for transport between the terminals of Fiumicino International Airport. Rome–Fiumicino International Airport “Leonardo da Vinci” is one of the busiest airports in Europe, with 41.7 million passengers served in 2016. It covers an area of 29 square kilometres.

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“Rome Fiumicino Airport has done an excellent job in delivering COVID-19 protocols that enable a safe environment for customers and staff,” wrote Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted. “In the core areas of hand hygiene and social distancing the airport has robust procedures in place, and importantly, this is being reinforced by a high-level of attention to terminal sanitization at high-contact points. It is the consistency of these measures that is also notable, and this is an essential factor behind Rome Fiumicino Airport being the first airport in the world to receive the COVID-19 5-Star Airport Rating.”

In addition to the standards Skytrax observed, the Fiumicino Airport had also organized a drive-through testing center in an on-site parking lot, for the testing of travelers returning from higher-risk countries.

With help from the Italian Red Cross, Rome's Fiumicino Airport had also organized a drive-through testing center in an on-site parking lot, for the testing of travelers returning from higher-risk countries. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

With help from the Italian Red Cross, Rome’s Fiumicino Airport had also organized a drive-through testing center in an on-site parking lot, for the testing of travelers returning from higher-risk countries. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

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Skytrax, meanwhile, has so far only released its ratings for a handful of European airports. Dozens more across the continent are pending, while reviews for airports in North America, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and South America are planned in the coming months.

Aside from Fiumicino, Skytrax released its ratings for London’s Heathrow Airport, Spain’s Málaga Costa del Sol Airport, and the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport in France, all of which earned three stars from Skytrax, indicating “an average standard of airport cleanliness and maintenance procedures.”