Rome's Fiumicino Airport has become the first airport in the world to earn "the COVID-19 5-Star Airport Rating" from Skytrax, an international airport industry ratings body.
Though Skytrax is best known for its annual rankings of the world's best airports, the global Covid-19 crisis prompted the organization to come up with a designation for airport hygiene.
According to a release from Skytrax, the organization based its rating on "a combination of procedural efficiency checks, visual observation analysis and ATP sampling tests."
Fiumicino Airport (FCO), also known as Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport, is the busiest airport in Italy.
On September 1, the airport opened a 7,000-square-foot Covid testing center, which is co-managed with the Italian Red Cross.
But it's not only organized, rapid testing that Skytrax noted in its review of FCO. The airport scored points for having easy-to-read signage in multiple languages, strict enforcement of mask wearing, visibly present cleaning staff and efficiency thanks to the consolidation of all incoming and outgoing flights to a single terminal for easier tracking.
So far, Skytrax -- whose head office is in the United Kingdom -- has only been able to monitor European airports.
In addition to FCO's five-star ranking, three other airports have been awarded three stars for their Covid response -- Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP) in Spain, Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE) in France and London's Heathrow (LHR).
According to the Skytrax rating system, five stars indicates "very high standards of airport cleanliness and maintenance procedures," while four stars is "good" and three "average." Two stars, the lowest possible rating, means that the airport's anti-Covid protocols "need work."
Next up: Skytrax hopes to rate airports in North America, the Middle East and Asia in fall 2020 as more national borders begin to open.