Case Study: Manchester-Boston
Fusion Cell Helps Manchester-Boston Regional Tackle COVID-19
About Manchester-Boston Regional Airport
Strategically situated in the heart of New England,
Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, (MHT) is
located less than fifty miles north of Boston,
Massachusetts, and less than an hour’s drive from
the region’s most popular ski areas, scenic seacoast
beaches, and peaceful lake front resorts. MHT is the
premier aviation gateway for the region.
MHT needed a fast, effective approach to alleviating the threat of the pandemic, both actual and perceived. They identified Fusion Cell as the best partner to help redefine airport cleanliness standards in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fusion Cell’s health and safety team consists of current and former military specialists with decades of experience in epidemiology, infection control, and risk mitigation. The board-certified team conducted an investigation of the Airport’s enhanced health and safety practices implemented when the pandemic began.
Their investigation focused on what Fusion Cell calls the “Big Six” for COVID-19 intervention—filtered air, sanitation/disinfection, health screenings, distancing guidelines, mask mandates, and hand hygiene. With these elements in mind, they analyzed everything at the
airport from sick worker policies to passenger flow and check-in procedures to HVAC and other facility-specific
– Ted Kitchens, A.A.E., Airport Director
Manchester-Boston Regional Airport
Mike Klingshirn, Fusion Cell’s Director of Program Management, said the Airport began implementing increased sanitation measures before Fusion Cell’s audit was even complete. Klingshirn, a board-certified epidemiologist, has over 10 years of experience in pandemic management globally through the U.S. military.
“MHT’s leadership team and department heads took immediate action in risk reduction areas as the plan was being built. It was obvious that the health and safety of staff and guests was the top priority,” Klingshirn said. “They immediately focused on two areas that were identified as top priorities: building sanitation and air filtration. MHT went above the industry standards and mandates in both areas. They are now using innovative technology for validation of their interventions.”
– Carl Braley, A.A.E.,
Assistant Airport Director of Operations and Facilities
Manchester-Boston Regional Airport
Airport Director Ted Kitchens, A.A.E., said they first engaged Fusion Cell in summer 2020 to evaluate current disinfection policies and procedures at MHT and identify any additional safety measures to implement. “Our first priority, each and every day is running a safe airport,” Kitchens said. “Having Fusion Cell come in and provide their expertise in an evolving situation like the pandemic has been a source of stability and confidence for us at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.”
Kitchens said that while the Airport prides itself on cleanliness, it was important to be able to say with certainty that MHT was doing what was in the best interest of its customers, employees, and business partners. “Our passengers and employees can’t
just feel safe—they need to be safe,” Kitchens said. “We wanted the additional transparency of outside expertise to help our customers have confidence that they can travel safely.”
“MHT has effectively implemented changes to make the Airport the safest reasonable space for guest interactions,” said Matt Morrissey, COO of Fusion Cell. “They have met or exceeded industry standards in almost every category of risk, and they are committed
to making the curb-to-curb experience as safe as possible for travelers.”
Fusion Cell’s investigation allowed MHT to prepare for another certification, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Fusion Cell’s investigation allowed MHT to prepare for another certification, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR™ Facility Accreditation, which the Airport received in December 2020. Carl Braley, A.A.E. and Assistant Airport Director of Operations and Facilities, said, “Partnering with Fusion Cell was absolutely integral to our success in achieving GBAC STAR™. This makes us the only Airport in New England and—at the time—only the 15th in the world to receive this accreditation.”
level of expectation on safety, so too will the pandemic
usher in new levels of consumer expectations on public
health. Quite simply, clean will become the new secure."
– TED Kitchens, A.A.E., Airport Director
Manchester-Boston Regional AirpoRT
Now, Fusion Cell and MHT are looking toward the future and expecting these changes to cleanliness to become a new normal in airport standards.
“Whenever there has been a major shock to the aviation industry, airports and airlines never come out on the other side with the same structure—there’s always a change,” Kitchens said. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, airports and airlines are changing again, and we believe that the consumer will factor into their purchase decisions their perception of how a business values public health. Just as the events of 9/11 ushered in a new level of expectation on safety, so too will the pandemic usher in new levels of consumer expectations on public health. Quite simply, clean will become the new secure.”
Morrissey said the improvements that the Airport has implemented will have long-lasting effects moving forward. “This is an opportunity to set new standards for clean and allow MHT to be a thought leader in this new conversation,” Morrissey said.
Fusion Cell and MHT are currently working to identify and implement technology that can determine an acceptable threshold of bacteria and show when an area is clean or not. “The right technology will give us data, allowing us to establish where we are and hold everyone accountable,” Morrissey said. “MHT has the opportunity to establish these standards, and hopefully other airports will follow suit.”
Kitchens added, “It’s one thing to look clean, but it’s a much higher standard to actually achieve and maintain the best practices sanitary environment. Fusion Cell walked us through the process from planning to implementation to now measuring the effectiveness of our new processes.”
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