A new travel reality in times of the pandemic dictate changes in airport processes. Lithuanian Airports are preparing to enable passengers to have various types of coronavirus tests be conducted at the airports before or after flights. A call for tenders for coronavirus testing services to be provided in leased areas near or inside the airports has already been issued.
Currently, when traveling from Lithuania to many European Union (EU) countries or to third countries, travelers must have confirmation of a negative result for a virus test received no earlier than 72 or 48 hours before arrival. In most cases, countries recognize not only certificates for PCR, but also those for rapid antigen tests. At present, Lithuania also applies the requirement to have confirmation of a negative result for a coronavirus test already when arriving to the country or to have it done immediately upon arrival.
According to Dainius Čiuplys, Head of Operations and Infrastructure Department at Lithuanian Airports, not only passengers but also airlines have already expressed the need for virus testing at airports. Therefore, ways of how to start doing so to have been sought since last autumn.
“We definitely know that receiving quality and quick coronavirus testing services at the airport is already relevant for passengers. For this reason, though this is a completely new field in our processes, we are looking for the best solutions and it is in our interests that services are provided by companies with the necessary experience and able to guarantee quality.
Although there is a great deal of uncertainty in passenger aviation due to different requirements applied by different countries, we can see that, in a long run, holding a certificate for negative result for coronavirus test by a passenger is likely to become part of a longer-term travel process”, - says D. Čiuplys.
Lithuanian Airports plan that passenger testing services at Vilnius Airport will be provided already from the second half of February, and at Palanga and Kaunas airports - from April onwards.
The terms of the tender procedure for coronavirus testing services in leased areas specify that the successful tenderer will have to provide an opportunity of performing at least three types of tests on passengers - PCR, rapid PCR and rapid antigen tests. However, with the expanding opportunities in testing markets, other test types can also be added. The terms also specify that testing activities will be possible to be done at airport accesses (outdoors) or inside terminals. This will depend on the requirements in force at the time for such activities and on the possibilities of the successful tenderer to adapt the leased premises for testing activities.
All terms of the tender procedure and other information are publicly available on the website of Lithuanian Airports (http://www.ltou.lt/lt/galimybes-verslui/patalpu-nuoma) and social network accounts of the airports.
About Lithuanian Airports
The network of Lithuanian Airports includes three air gateways in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga. In 2020, 1.8 million passengers and 30 thousand flights were served at Lithuanian Airports.