Janitors Cleaning Airport Facility
Janitors Cleaning Airport Facility

Five airports chose to switch during COVID-19. Here’s why they chose Flagship Aviation

Published May 26, 2021

Categories: Aviation, Coronavirus, Downloads, Janitorial


One complex transition is challenging – but five airport Custodial Services contract transitions
during COVID-19 is a daunting challenge that takes a special kind of facility services partner to meet.

Air travel in the U.S. has enjoyed continuous growth over the last 15 years. In 2020, COVID-19 and the global pandemic decimated air travel and the industry went from a decade-plus of growth to a 60% reduction in passenger count almost overnight.

Despite the challenge of maintaining operations with skeleton crews, airports had to adhere to CDC guidelines in their facilities for the safety of their employees and customers. This became incredibly difficult in the face of constrained supplies of PPE, disinfectants, chemicals and other supplies needed to destroy the virus in these large, public spaces.

Flagship’s Aviation teams were already in place at our client airports – and we rapidly scaled up to ensure employee and passenger safety by:

  • Exercising a strong vendor network to obtain needed disinfectants and equipment
  • Implementing and further developing virtual recruiting, hiring and training strategies
  • Empowering frontline heroes to do what was needed to protect the health and safety of airport employees and passengers
  • Working with innovative equipment and technology companies to improve process efficiency, flexibility and adaptability
Airport Services Transitions US Map

The Challenge

Many airports had to go through the process of selecting a contractor for the next contract term period. The airport could choose to stay with their current vendor or take a chance on someone new – and this was not an easy decision.

Airports needed a contractor that could:

  • Improve the health and safety of their environment and reduce the potential for virus spread
  • Transition, hire and train staff on processes, equipment and safety requirements
    • Example: Flagship transitioned and trained 380 full-time equivalent employees at DEN and 280 full-time equivalent employees at SLC.
  • Create teams that can act fast, tackle challenges, be ready for anything and make smart decisions with the airport’s top priorities in mind
  • Build passenger confidence with visible, high touch point disinfection
  • Be their partner through the entire ordeal

The Solution

Five airports selected to change their current janitorial contractor to Flagship Aviation Services. Flagship accepted and successfully launched all five airport janitorial contracts since April 1, 2020 – despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flagship established:

  • Virtual platforms and social media to recruit and hire necessary staff
  • An advanced onsite onboarding and training program – complete with social distancing, masks, sanitizer and all other necessary PPE
  • A partnership with Trax Analytics to implement technology that improves visibility into passenger trends, peak times of use, personnel saturation and total cleaning time.
  • Strong partnerships with minority and disadvantaged business enterprises
  • The Tier 1 Diversity Supplier Spend to expand opportunities for diverse suppliers to participate as Tier 1 Suppliers

The Benefits

There is a newly heightened focus on cleaning, disinfection, maintenance and building health.

The best ways to strengthen confidence with passengers are:

  • Presenting a clean and well-maintained facility
  • Showcasing professional staff consistently disinfecting high touch point areas
  • Implementing advanced technology
  • Improving communication throughout the airport
  • Being transparent with updates and changes

Flagship Airport Ambassadors have been extremely successful at improving passenger confidence. Ambassadors deliver rigorous high touch point disinfection and adapt quickly to passenger needs.

Flagship has implemented IoT and sensor technology that improves accountability and passenger communications. This results in dependable data that drives process improvement and cost efficiencies while supporting a higher standard of quality throughout the service delivery ecosystem.

Flagship’s comprehensive airport facilities services establish confidence with travelers from the moment they enter the airport – and continue building that confidence as passengers continue through the airport facility.

A Future With Flagship

As vaccinations roll out and more people are comfortable flying, the number of travelers will increase at airports.

With larger crowds, building and supporting passenger confidence will continue to be a top priority.

Flagship’s flexible and innovative processes can help airports continue to provide a safe and healthy environment.

Flight and Hotel Searches US Residents

Awards & Recognition

During the pandemic, Flagship provided exemplary service that helped their partner airports soar. Flagship-serviced airports received recognition, awards and certificates based on their strong disinfection measures and for protecting the health of passengers.

Here are a few highlights:

  • In 2021, Tampa International Airport was named one of the most hygienic airports in North America by Airports Council International.
  • Denver International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Piedmont Triad International Airport and Paine Field received the 2021 Top 10 Best Airports in USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport was recognized for taking preventative safety measures against the spread of COVID-19 and other germs and viruses.
  • Mineta San José International Airport was the first California airport to earn global accreditation status for having the highest levels of cleanliness and safety.
  • In addition to Mineta San Jose International Airport, Flagship helped Harrisburg International Airport, Orlando International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to earn the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Star Facility Accreditation.
  • The Flagship staff at John Wayne Airport received the 2020 President’s Award for their commitment to excellence and a focus on safety.
  • Flagship teams transitioned Salt Lake City International Airport twice in the first six months of service in support for their phase one debut of the New SLC Airport, which included a new parking garage, gateway center, central terminal, 25 gates at Concourse A-west and 21 gates at Concourse B-west.
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