As the aviation industry grapples with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, JFKIAT, the operator of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, has launched a COVID-19 recovery campaign to ensure the safety and security of customers and employees and win back customer confidence as more people resume travel.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, JFKIAT took immediate action to ensure high levels of safety within the terminal, staying in close contact with the CDC and government agencies, increasing and enhancing cleaning routines throughout the building, and implementing safe practices for processing flights and passengers arriving from affected areas. With the launch of its new campaign, JFKIAT has innovated beyond standard air terminal practices in order to look ahead to the future, seeking to address anxiety, ensure the highest level of safety practices, and leverage cutting edge technology to prepare T4 for the next normal of air travel.
“The impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation industry have been unprecedented, and in order to move forward, industry leaders must find unprecedented solutions,” said Roel Huinink, President and CEO of JFKIAT. “JFKIAT’s mission is grounded in providing the best possible customer experience and ensuring the highest levels of safety, and we have executed plans to ensure that our employees can feel safe and positive at work, give our customers reassurance as they return to travel once more, and cultivate systems to prepare T4 for the future.”
JFKIAT developed a comprehensive plan and assigned dedicated teams to focus on five key areas: Hygiene and Sanitation, Health and Wellbeing, Social Distancing, Transactions, and Communications. Each project team focused on specific challenges – from anxiety around high-touch areas within the terminal to communicating safety measures to customers and staff – and developed targeted solutions around each challenge. Customers can learn more about JFKIAT’s safety initiatives on the new T4 Safe Travel Resource Center, now live on T4’s website.
In addition to installing sanitization stations, touchless sanitary receptacles and social distancing decals, JFKIAT has introduced several innovative initiatives, including vending machines for personal protective equipment (PPE), new robotic cleaning technology, and a series of contactless transaction systems. Since social distancing can be challenging in some spaces, JFKIAT analyzed each step of the passenger and employee journey to create solutions for maintaining distance between individuals in customs queues, gate hold areas and ticketing lines.
JFKIAT also recognized the urgent need for systems to reinforce safety for customers and staff within T4. Elevated body temperature screening has been implemented for employees, and more measures for customer screening will be announced in the coming weeks. T4 is also currently the only air terminal in the United States to launch a COVID-19 screening and testing location for
employees. JFKIAT partnered with XpresSpa’s new brand XpresCheck and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the pilot program, which has the capacity to screen up to 500 employees per day and is open to all JFK terminal employees, airline employees, and airport workers.
To give passengers a sense of security within the building, JFKIAT also launched a branded safety campaign called S.M.I.L.E. (Social distance, Mask, Inform, Lather and Encourage). The campaign leverages T4’s distinctive brand and mission – to guide and delight – to communicate clear, consistent and positive messages around staying safe. The multifaceted campaign will reach all key customers and employee touchpoints, including T4’s website, social platforms, on promotional materials (such as masks and hand sanitizers), and digital and print signage to address travel anxiety with an optimistic, human voice.