ISS Aviation team keeps airports safe during COVID-19 pandemic


ISS teams regularly exceed customer expectations because our approach to service starts with people who care. Our aviation team has been taking pride in the work they do in helping keep airports safe for travelers and employees.

ISS teams regularly exceed customer expectations because our approach to service starts with people who care. Our people care about the people they support – that means our customers, our colleagues and the communities we serve.

In the first few months of 2020, our cleaning team at Detroit Metro Airport found themselves on the front lines of a pandemic, with a surge of possible and confirmed COVID-19 cases reported at U.S. international airports. Even with so much uncertainty surrounding the outbreak, our team took immediate action to keep airport passengers, visitors and employees safe and minimize the spread of the virus. Director of Aviation Integrated Facility Services Tommy O’Rourke shared some of the ways our Aviation teams have gone the extra mile because they care.

Tommy explained that before widespread travel restrictions were in place, one of our airline customers was “concerned with screening arriving passengers and disinfecting high-touch spaces. We had discovered the electrostatic discharge sprayer disinfecting method in January, so we were able to get that equipment before the market exploded” due to additional cleaning demand.

As soon as reports of positive cases started to increase, “our team was regularly wiping down touchpoints and spraying the Customs area,” Tommy said. “We also started CDC screenings after every flight from Asia – we implemented a process of disinfecting every space where those passengers had been.”

Our airline client in Detroit also asked us to build out a larger space for representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC brought in additional staff in February to screen passengers. Our teams are comfortable going the extra mile because they care. They “wanted to do the as many of the right things as possible,” Tommy said.

The early days of the pandemic were unpredictable to say the least. Our cleaning leaders never lost sight of the risks of working in areas where those who had tested positive for the virus had been. “Facility managers and frontline supervisors insisted on doing the sanitizing and spraying of exposed surfaces themselves because they knew their team members were afraid of contracting the virus. They wanted to protect their colleagues,” Tommy said.

“We saw a tremendous amount of bravery from local staff and site managers,” Tommy continued.

Many of our team members worked seven days a week for months during the height of the crisis. They collaborated with colleagues at other airports and client sites to apply lessons learned and align our response.

ISS delivers exceptional service to customers because we start by hiring and developing people who care. Our teams are trained, equipped, motivated and working to meet high standards, especially in a time when cleanliness has never been more vital.


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