SAAA COVID-19 response...
United Kingdom & International flights...
As part of our unwavering commitment to safety and service, SAAA and our partners have implemented additional measures to safeguard the health of passengers, pilots, and crew to ensure well-being across every touchpoint of the air ambulance mission experience. As part of a multifaceted approach to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following measures have been implemented for air ambulance missions on our aircraft and those operated by SAAA partners:
- Air Replenishment Procedure: Air is not recycled and recirculated in the cabin during flight; instead, inside air escapes the jet via an outflow valve and is continually replenished with fresh air from the outside at a controlled rate to maintain comfortable cabin pressure. The valve systems on the Citation X and Challenger 300 aircraft are capable of providing approximately 150 cubic feet of air from outside every minute. With 100% of interior air volume refreshed every six minutes, patients and family escorts can breathe easy.
- Air Sterilization: Air enters the aircraft through a process which includes heat compression at temperatures greater than 500 °F. An ozone converter leverages a catalytic medium to convert the ozone present at higher altitudes (O3) into oxygen (O2). The heat of compression and catalytic conversion sterilizes the air. A temperature control system then cools the resultant sterilized air to desired cabin temperatures.
- Aircraft Cleaning: Before and after each flight, high-grade multi-purpose cleaner and disinfectant wipes are used to thoroughly wipe down aircraft interiors ‒including lavatories, tray tables, window shades, armrests, and all touch surfaces.
- Antimicrobial Treatment and Disinfectant: Antimicrobial barrier treatment ClearCabin and surface disinfectant Bacoban are regularly applied to aircraft interiors to provide long-term protection from bacteria, viruses, mold, fungi, and other microorganisms. ClearCabin, an odorless and colorless disinfectant, is applied every 30 days and protects surfaces for up to 90 days with one application. Additionally, Bacoban is applied every 10 days, developing a solid gel nano layer that provides long-lasting antiviral and antimicrobial performance.
- Aircraft Decontamination Process: Should it be determined that anyone potentially carrying COVID-19 has travelled onboard an aircraft, that aircraft will be temporarily taken out of service, treated, and evaluated for cleanliness.
Patient and Escort Experience:
- COVID-19: Please note, if the patient and or escorts have been diagnosed with COVID-19, SAAA cannot offer repatriation at the present time.
- Health & Travel Screening: Patients and their escorts are required to submit a Health Declaration Form at least 24 hours prior to departure to verify wellness and identify any symptoms. All patients and their escorts travel activity from the previous 21 days is screened and may be verified with passport checks.
- Patients and Escort Protections: Patients and escorts must consent to wear a mask which SAAA will supply. In all cases, patients and escorts temperatures will be taken with a non-contact infrared thermometer.
- Ground Experience: On the ground, SAAA's preferred FBOs have reconfigured facilities to allow for social distancing and have implemented targeted cleaning procedures. At the private jet terminal, passenger and escorts interaction with staff is minimized.
- Passenger Personal Protective Equipment [ PPE ] Aircraft are stocked with personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer for patient and escort use.
- Catering Protocol: Catering is pre-packaged and delivered in sealed boxes / bags. Any unpacking is done with use of masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment to avoid exposure. All food items remain protected in plastic wrap for passengers to self-open.
- Minimizing Service Interactions: Patient and escort service processes have been altered to avoid unnecessary contact and to minimize interactions. As an example, prior to boarding, crew will instruct patients and escorts to show their forms of identification from a distance, rather than handling the items directly. Additionally, in order to protect both crew and patients, the conventional welcome handshake has been temporarily discontinued.
- Onboard Service: For flights with cabin hostesses, travelers can pre-select their preferred level of service. Minimum interaction service would limit crew from entering the cabin ‒unless for safety or medical reasons or to fulfill a specific patient and escort request. Simplified service would allow for crew to enter the cabin as required for basic service.
Pilot & Crew Procedures:
- Health Monitoring: Pilots and crew are required to closely monitor their health, register their temperatures twice daily, and report to duty only if they are symptom-free.
- Social Distancing: Pilots and crew follow social distancing guidelines and respect travelers’ physical space. As requested and when possible, pilots and crew may close the partition between cockpit and cabin to provide additional protection to travelers.
- Pilot / Crew Personal Protective Equipment: Pilots and crew wear masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment during passenger interactions in the cabin and outside of the aircraft.
- Suspected COVID-19 Interaction Response: Should pilots or crew interact with someone carrying COVID-19, they are required to quarantine for 14 days and/or demonstrate negative test results before returning to work.
Operational Protocols & Partner Resources:
- Emergency Response Plan: As standard our Operation Teams actively maintain Emergency Response Plans with checklist protocols in the event that someone becomes ill onboard. Crew have also been trained on how to identify possible infections and the appropriate actions in the event of a suspected infection.
- Travel Restrictions Monitoring: Operations Teams review international and domestic travel mandates on a daily basis to ensure compliance with evolving requirements. Flights are prohibited to destinations that are considered high-risk or where travel is not permitted. For live flights, pilots and crew continually monitor travel restrictions, as well as the conditions on the ground across origins and destinations.
- Government & Organisational Resources: SAAA is working diligently and collaboratively with leading experts from the Civil Aviation Authority [ CAA ], Foreign & Commonwealth Office [ FCO ] and to remain up-to-date regarding developing information, to follow operational guidance, and to adopt best practices.
SAAA Aviation Advisors are always available to answer any questions that may arise regarding measures taken to ensure traveller well-being in the air and on the ground.