Swine Flu Outbreak Updates: 01-May-09: Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte
Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte, known as OMA, provided information regarding developments in its airports as a result of the preventive alert announced by the Mexican Ministry of Health resulting from the swine flu outbreak.
The Mexican government put into operation an emergency plan and increased epidemiological surveillance in order to arrest the spread of the illness. This plan included the establishment of checkpoints in airports to provide information, as well as to provide assistance to any persons who show signs of illness.
OMA's concern is for the entire airport community, including passengers, employees of the airlines and other service providers, as well as our own employees. We have established dedicated response teams at headquarters level and at each airport. We are cooperating in the operations coordinated by the federal government, and providing health authorities any assistance they require to carry out their activities.
The World Health Organization today raised to Phase 5 the pandemic alert level for the swine flu. This increases the security measures that are being taken. By order of the Ministry of Communications and Transportation, surveillance of every passenger traveling to international destinations will be undertaken in order to identify symptoms of viral infection, including visual inspection, surveys, or measuring body temperatures. Personnel of the Ministry of Health will be able to require additional tests, and will have the authority to determine if a passenger will be allowed to board a flight. This measure will be put into place immediately. We therefore recommend that passengers arrive at airports with ample time in advance of their scheduled departure.
Currently, the operations in OMA's airports continue normally. The World Health Organization recommended not to close borders and not to restrict international travel. However, persons are choosing to cancel or delay scheduled travel, and there has been a reduction in passenger traffic.
At the present time OMA cannot estimate the impact that this public health crisis will have on passenger traffic volumes, the number of flight operations; or on the financial condition of the company. Much will depend on how long this situation continues and its impact on domestic and global economic activity.