For a better hygiene experience: PX Team tests Sanitizing Zones

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is continuously working to lift hygiene at our airport to a higher level. One example is that Asset Management has improved the cleaning of the toilets, which has already resulted in better hygiene. But, as it turns out, actual hygiene and how we experience hygiene can differ tremendously.

PX Team member Maryan Brouwer explains: “Many people are wary of crowded public spaces, also known as high traffic zones, because hygiene is an uncertain factor. As a result they don’t feel clean, even when they actually are. We used this information to get to work.”

Outsmarting germs

The PX Team launched a pilot in cooperation with Asset Management back in September 2019 to investigate what Amsterdam Airport Schiphol could do to improve passengers’ hygiene experience, giving them the impression that they were ‘outsmarting germs’ – which was also the name given to the pilot. The team performed a test run of Sanitizing Zones with hand sanitizers near toilets, touch screens and rubbish bins in Living Labs at various spots in the terminal.

Feedback from actual passengers

The great advantage of a Living Lab is that this method results in immediate feedback from passengers. And it’s this feedback that helps us further improve new concepts. Passengers say that toilets are the most obvious places for Sanitizing Zones. Another striking insight gained from the Living Labs is that it showed that Dutch people were not used to hand sanitizers, at least until the coronavirus crisis hit. Before that Dutch people would rarely use them, except in hospitals.

Increase in the overall satisfaction with the cleanliness of toilets

Passengers have awarded the Sanitizing Zone concept for toilets, touch screens and bins an average score of 8.2. As an added bonus, the concept has raised overall toilet satisfaction among passengers. Maryan: “Passengers even gave the oldest toilet groups in the building an 8.1 after the introduction of the Sanitizing Zones. A great result, achieved with minimum effort.”

The PX Team is currently preparing for the Schiphol-wide introduction of the Sanitizing Zones concept, as part of a broader strategy to improve passengers’ hygiene experience. Other possible measures include placing cubicles where passengers can freshen up in the terminal and special wash basins, which Muslim passengers could use to perform their ritual ablutions before prayer (wudu).