Amey helps airports reach new heights after volcano incident

13 May 2010
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Amey deployed a crack team of almost 500 people to carry out a ‘cleaning blitz’ at three airports across the UK when footfall was reduced due to the volcanic ash cloud.

The incident affected two teams at Heathrow Airport – working at Terminal 5 and on Heathrow Express (HEx) trains and stations – and one at Glasgow Airport. The contracts involve delivering a wide range of services including regular and deep cleaning, equipment maintenance, ground works, waste management and security.

As the ash cloud incident unfolded and airport operations were reduced, Amey’s teams used the ‘window of opportunity’ to clean areas where access is normally restricted due to high footfall – such as passenger checking, escalators and train carriages.

Teams at the two airports and HEx shared information about how to sequence the works to maximise efficiencies and benefit for their customers. At Glasgow Airport, Amey’s team completed a week’s worth of airside activities in just two and a half days.

Graham Blair, development director of Amey’s Built Environment division, said: “As soon as we realised the impact of the incident, we pulled out all the stops and our airports became complete hives of activity. It is very unusual to be able to clean empty airports and we were determined to maximise the time available.

“In addition, staff were given the chance to take days of annual leave so that we are more likely to have the maximum staffing level during busy times.”

It all means good results for the airline operators which work under the Service Quality Rebate (SQR) scheme operated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). As part of this process, the CSS distributes questionnaires to customers to monitor their levels of satisfaction with the cleanliness and ambience of the airports. It is hoped that the high standard of cleanliness achieved at the airports will help to provide a better experience for the travelling public.

“We are really proud to have given UK airports a real shine and help them move forward beyond this event. Now we’re focusing on maintaining those high standards we have achieved,” added Graham.


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