Press Release

AAAE Partners with ISSA & Global Biorisk Advisory Council to Help Airports Achieve Cleaning & Disinfection Accreditation

For Immediate Release
July 14, 2020 

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—July 14, 2020—The American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, have established a formal partnership to accredit airports that meet the highest levels of cleanliness and safety at their facilities to minimize risk from coronavirus and other infectious agents.  

As part of the agreement, AAAE will act as a strategic partner with GBAC for two programs that will help airports and airport personnel in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic:
  • GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation Program, which helps public and commercial facilities establish and maintain a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents and biohazards.
GBAC Programs Overview
GBAC STAR provides third-party validation that facilities have the proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices to meet a higher level of cleanliness and safety. Launched in early May, the performance-based accreditation program has garnered commitments from leaders in the aviation industry, including American Airlines, Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport, and Palm Beach International Airport. Other notable enterprises and venues to commit to the program include Hyatt Hotels, the Miami Dolphins/Hard Rock Stadium, Visit Dallas, and a host of convention centers in the United States. 

To achieve GBAC STAR accreditation, facilities must demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. Facilities apply online and provide all documentation and supporting evidence with their application.

The GBAC Fundamentals Online Course:  Cleaning & Disinfection Principles training covers a variety of cleaning and disinfection topics with a special emphasis on SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. Participants in the 2- to 3-hour course learn infection and contamination control measures for infectious disease outbreak situations. Those who complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion from GBAC and can use the term “GBAC-Trained Technician” to distinguish themselves. 

“We are pleased to partner with ISSA and GBAC on these programs that will empower our members to incorporate best practices around cleaning and disinfection,” AAAE Executive Vice President Jacky Sher Raker said. “By pursuing GBAC accreditation and training, AAAE members will have the opportunity to establish themselves as industry leaders in ensuring clean, safe, and healthy airport environments that instill confidence among travelers, staff, and other key constituents.” 

“We are grateful for AAAE’s partnership and commitment to GBAC STAR,” GBAC Executive Director Patty Olinger added. “Together, we will help airports implement strict protocols for biorisk situations that foster clean, safe, and healthy environments now and in the future.”

AAAE Establishes GBAC STAR Working Group 
As part of AAAE’s commitment to endorsing GBAC STAR facility accreditation for its members, the association has formed the AAAE Working Group for GBAC STAR Accreditation. This committee is composed of AAAE members who represent airports across the United States:
  • Ken Buchanan, Executive Vice President, Revenue Management and Customer Experience, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
  • Chris Dietz, Director of Operations/Maintenance, Rapid City Regional Airport
  • Kelly Johnson, A.A.E., Chief Operating Officer, Northwest Arkansas National Airport
  • Gabriel Nevarez, Deputy Aviation Director for Facilities, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport 
  • Ryan Sheehan, A.A.E., Director of Operations/Maintenance, Spokane International Airport
  • Leroy Sisneros, Director of Facilities, San Francisco International Airport
  • Scott Skramstad, C.M., Assistant Director, Operations/Facilities, Metropolitan Airports Commission-Minneapolis/St. Paul 
  • Doug Stearns, C.M., ACE, Senior Advisor to the Director of Aviation, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
  • Cathryn Stephens, A.A.E., Acting Airport Director, Eugene Airport
  • Michelle Wilcut, Deputy Director of Aviation and Customer Service, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
AAAE Working Group members will collaborate with the GBAC Scientific Advisory Board to develop a GBAC STAR Airports template that will advise airport executives on best practices and help them to identify gaps in their cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices to combat biohazards and infectious disease as they prepare for GBAC STAR accreditation. 
About AAAE
Founded in 1928, AAAE is the world's largest professional organization representing the individuals who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE's 7,000 members represent some 875 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C., and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities, including training, conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program.

About GBAC, a Division of ISSA 
Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration® response and remediation, the GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, training and certification of individuals and consulting for building owners and facility managers. For more information, visit www.gbac.org.

About ISSA 
With more than 9,300 members—including distributors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, wholesalers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, residential cleaners and associated service members—ISSA is the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. The association is committed to changing the way the world views cleaning by providing its members with the business tools they need to promote cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment and an improved bottom line. Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., USA, the association has regional offices in Mainz, Germany; Whitby, Canada; Parramatta, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; and Shanghai, China. For more information about ISSA, visit www.issa.com or call 800-225-4772 (North America) or 847-982-0800.

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PRESS CONTACTS:
Joel D. Bacon
Executive Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, AAAE
703.575.2478

Jonathan Adkins
Vice President, Marketing, ISSA
847.982.3478

PROGRAM CONTACT: 
Jacky Sher Raker 
Executive Vice President, Meetings, Marketing, Membership, Administration & AAAE Foundation 
703.575.2472