Increased activity and measures at Geraldton Airport

Published: Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 8:26:00 AM

Despite less passengers travelling through the Geraldton Airport amidst the current health crisis, there has been an increase in activity and measures in place at the facility.

Rio Tinto have expanded their health screening of FIFO workers as part of the company’s participation in the DETECT program, a WA-based population study focused on testing targeted groups of people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

A large 25x20m marquee has been erected in the short term carpark for the service which is a joint initiative of the Department of Health and the WA research community. 

The rapid screening process includes an online and face-to-face health questionnaire, a temperature check and the rapid finger pinprick blood screen to detect viral-related antibodies, performed by a qualified nurse.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said it was great to see these measures for FIFO workers coming in and out of Geraldton.

“We are in such unprecedented times at the moment and it’s great to see Rio Tinto come on board to implement such an important program,” he said.

“I’d also encourage anyone travelling in and out of the Geraldton Airport to ensure they have all necessary documentation, and have also downloaded the COVID-19 app.”

Rio Tinto Chief Executive of iron ore business Chris Salisbury said the company’s number one priority is to protect the health of employees and communities where they operate.

“The broader roll-out of our layered screening process to regional airports such as Geraldton and Albany will allow us to continue operating safely and, importantly, making a strong contribution to Western Australian communities,” he said. 

With border restrictions still in place, there are a number of checkpoints for travellers coming in and out of Geraldton.

There will also be some changes at the Airport from November 2020 with correspondence from Airservices Australia stating there will be changes to approach procedures for some aircraft arriving to Geraldton, as part of a national safety improvement program. 

Some residents of Moonyoonooka, East Chapman, Narra Tarra, Yetna and Nanson may notice a small visual change to the way aircraft arrive the airport, however there will be no noticeable change in noise levels. 

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