Published 30 November 2020. Revised 22 February 2021.
Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC) has developed the following COVID-19 Safety Plan to communicate the measures that have been taken in order to stop the spread and keep all WWFC staff, students and visitors safe and healthy while continuing to operate. The following plan includes identified risks, mitigation, exposure procedure, new business operating procedures and communications.
This plan has been developed in reference to restrictions, regulations and resources provided by the Government of Ontario, Public Health Ontario, Region of Waterloo Public Health, Public Health Agency of Canada, and Air Transport Association Canada (ATAC).
Strict adherence to this plan will reduce the likelihood of an outbreak at WWFC and the need for further restrictions. Questions and comments can be directed to the General Manager, Bob Connors at email@example.com or 519-648-2213.
Understanding the Risks
To mitigate the risks at WWFC, it is important to understand them. Mainly, the risks are related to how the virus spreads.
COVID-19 can be spread in two main ways:
- Person to person in close contact
- Surfaces or objects when people touch their face with contaminated hands
The risk of getting COVID-19 is higher if you:
- Spend more time with potentially infected people
- Work in close proximity to others
- Interact with more people
- Work in more enclosed spaces (working indoors is riskier than working outdoors)
The risk of severe health outcomes is not the same for all workers. The risk increases with age and is higher for people with certain medical conditions. It is possible for the virus to be spread by people who do not have any symptoms, so it is important to act as if everyone is infected and mitigate the risk accordingly.
Controlling COIVD-19 Risks at WWFC
A variety of measures have been put in place at WWFC to help control the risks. These are used to help break the chain of transmission of the virus and to keep everyone safe.
- Physical distancing and barriers
- Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and equipment
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and good hygiene
- Virtual and smaller classes
- Good ventilation
- Regular communications, information materials and signage
Details about these measures, including responsibilities are included in the Mitigation section of this plan.
Measures to reduce the risk
WWFC practices many measures of mitigation to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the building. The following are in affect:
- COVID-19 Screening – WWFC is using the CanaTrace app for the health screening survey. All staff, students and visitors are required to complete the survey prior to coming in the building. All information is kept confidential. The platform is updated as regulations change. If a person does not have the technology on their phone to do the survey, they can still complete it using an iPad and the front entrance or with assistance of the WWFC representative. If during the health screening test a person answers “yes” to any of the questions, they will be asked to leave immediately, get tested and follow the guidelines outlined by Public Health.
A temperature check is also administered by a WWFC representative for everyone entering the building after completing the survey to ensure the person’s temperature is not more than 37.8 degrees Celsius.
Each person must also wear a mask or face shield before entering, wash and/or sanitize their hands regularly and practice physical distancing as much as possible while at WWFC.
Staff, students, and visitors are encouraged to use the online assessment tool provided by the Government of Ontario. If they have any symptoms of the virus, they should get tested and isolate until they receive a result. They are then invited to come back to WWFC provided they have followed the Public Health guidelines.
- Mask or Face Shied – A mask or face shield is required for all staff, students, and visitors when at WWFC. If there is a medical reason why a person cannot wear a mask or face shield, a letter from a doctor is required and must be sent to Bob Connors, General Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to coming to WWFC. Masks must cover the wearer’s nose, mouth, and chin. WWFC has non-medical face masks available at the front entrance, so if someone enters and does not have one, they will be asked to take one and put it on immediately.
- Gloves – Non-medical gloves are available at WWFC but are not required. If someone enters with gloves on, they will be asked to take them off, sanitize their hands and then put on a new pair. This is to reduce the risk of potentially spreading germs.
- Hygiene – Everyone at WWFC is strongly encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands regularly. Hand washing should adhere to Public Health direction – i.e. use soap and warm water and wash for at least 15 seconds. Hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) is also available throughout the building for regular use.
- Physical Distancing – Everyone at WWFC must practice physical distancing as much as possible by staying at least two metres apart. Floor markers with an “X” have been installed throughout the building to promote physical distancing in waiting areas and to identify chair locations.
We have established workstations and briefing stations with Plexiglas if one-on-one meetings are needed. Administrative offices also keep doors closed to restrict exposure. All areas that used to have seating (i.e. lunchroom, dispatch waiting area, administration waiting area) have been closed and are no longer used to restrict people from congregating.
Classrooms have been modified to allow for physical distancing. Class sizes are also adjusted as per the current government regulations and zoning restrictions. WWFC has moved 80% of ground school, tutorials, and classes online via Zoom.
- Sanitization – All high-traffic/touch point areas are sanitized regularly by assigned staff. Staff and students are required to sanitize their workstation after each use. Sanitization spray bottles and wipes are available throughout the building for easy use. A fogger will also be used throughout the entire building daily.
Instructors also use an electrostatic fogger after each class to sanitize the room and high touch point areas. Professional cleaners also clean the high touch point areas and washrooms 2-3 times a week.
Aircraft and simulators are also sanitized before and after each flight by the student and/or instructor as per the instructions in each plane. WWFC also no longer rents headsets. Each pilot and/or passenger is required to bring their own to reduce the risk of spread.
- Self-Monitor Health – Staff, students and visitors are encouraged to self-monitor their health and stay up-to-date on COVID-19 symptoms at all times. There is an online COVID-19 self-assessment tool that can be utilized. If anyone is feeling any symptoms of the virus they are encouraged to get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative test or self-isolate for at least 14 days. If a someone receives a positive test results, immediately notify General Manager, Bob Connors at email@example.com or 519-648-2213.
- Ventilation & Air Flow – WWFC has its HVAC system maintained every four months at its main building and Hangar 7. The recommended Merv 11 filters will be installed in December 2020 to assist with mitigating the spread of the virus.
- Building Flow – All staff, students and visitors must enter via the front entrance and go through the health check. The only exceptions are:
- if students are going to a class upstairs, they must enter via the building side door and a separate health screening will be administered
- if students and instructors need to debrief after a flight, they must enter via the building side door
When exiting the building, everyone must use the exit door at Dispatch and go to the gate at the parking lot or use the exit door by administration after using a classroom upstairs or a simulator.
Procedure for potential case or suspected exposure to COVID-19
If someone at WWFC (staff, student, visitor, etc.) is exposed to COVID-19 or receives a positive test, the following steps should be taken:
- Person must call Region of Waterloo Public Health at 519-575-4400 (or their local public health location) immediately.
- Contact WWFC General Manager, Bob Connors at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-648-2213 to advise the situation. The person will be asked to get tested (if they haven’t already) and follow their public health unit’s directives.
- WWFC will also contact Region of Waterloo Public Health in the case of a positive test.
- Person(s) must follow Public Health direction – i.e. testing, self-isolation and return-to-work.
- WWFC will inform any workers who may have potentially been exposed and share information with public health prior to resumption of activities.
- Entire WWFC facility, high touch points and aircraft (if applicable) will be sanitized and disinfected.
New Business Operating Procedures
Management of any new risks caused by changes to WWFC operations due to COVID-19
WWFC has developed new or adjust procedures to provide a safe and healthy environment for all staff, students, and visitors. These include:
- Sanitizing Aircraft & Simulators – Instructions on how to sanitize aircraft and health and safety measures is shared with each staff member and student before they return to WWFC for the first time. They are then required to answer a quiz after viewing the slideshow and return it to the Chief Flight Instructor before coming to WWFC.
Enhanced cleaning and sanitization of all aircraft and simulators is frequently completed daily. Each aircraft and simulator are sanitized before and after each flight as per specific instructions, which were shared with staff and students upon reopening and are stored in each plane and simulator.
- Emergency Evacuation Procedure – The procedure remains the same for the main building and Hangar 7. However, people must wear a face mask or shield at all times and practice physical distancing.
- Working Environment – With most classes switching to online via Zoom, some instructors and the Training Manager are required to work remotely. Access to the company Zoom account is provided. WWFC also has laptops available for staff who need it and remote access if requested. All staff email is accessible remotely. Staff are encouraged to only be onsite when they are scheduled to work and are restricted to certain areas in the building. Some staff have also been moved to a second building (Hangar 7) to help reduce the number of people in the main WWFC building.
- Payments – Students and clients are encouraged to put money on their WWFC account before arriving for fewer contact points. Instructions on how to do this has been communicated with all students and clients. WWFC does take point of sale payments using the tap feature, if needed.
- Online Store – Most of the items sold in the Pilot Shop have been added/updated to the online store. Staff, students, and patrons are encouraged to shop online and then pick up their order at their convenience. The Pilot Shop is not open to the public to reduce risk.
- Health & Safety Committee – The committee is responsible for implementing and monitoring the COVID-19 Safety Plan, as well as working with administration as required to ensure a safe and healthy environment at WWFC. The committee also serves as a contact for staff to voice any questions or concerns.
Sharing information, updates, and communications tools
WWFC has worked hard to communicate with staff, students, and clients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Communications materials used include enewsletters and notices, signage, website, and social media, as well as virtual staff meetings and student meetings. Any important news or changes to operations are immediately shared.
- New Information and Procedures – WWFC monitors new information and updates from all levels of government, as well as public health and shares it with staff, students and clients via electronic newsletters and notices, as well as on the WWFC website and social media (if appropriate).
Enewsletters are distributed bi-weekly, with special notices sent out as required. Virtual staff meetings are also held monthly via Zoom where the General Manager provides an update on WWFC news and happenings, as well as any other information as required (government subsidies, health and safety, procedures, etc.).
Virtual information meetings have been held with each class, as well as one-on-one progress report meetings with students where they have been updated about WWFC news and operations, as well as provided an opportunity to ask questions or state concerns.
Public Health and specific WWFC health and safety signage has also been posted around the building about wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing and proper hand washing.
- Feedback – Staff are given an opportunity to ask questions and comment at the monthly virtual staff meetings, as well as contact their manager or the General Manager if they have any questions or concerns at any time. Students are also encouraged to speak to their Flight Instructor, Dispatch, Program Coordinator, or the General Manager if they have any questions or concerns.
Measuring how the plan is working
New government and public health directives and regulations are closely monitored by WWFC management and the Health & Safety Committee. Discussion and required modifications are conducted monthly or more often if needed. The goal is to have minimal to zero cases at WWFC. The COVID-19 Safety Plan is updated as required to reflect any new changes and communications to staff, students and visitors provided.
Contacts & Resources
The following can be utilized for more information about COVID-19, as well as health and safety measures.
Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre
Bob Connors, General Manager
Region of Waterloo Public Health
Ontario Public Health
Government of Ontario
Public Health Agency of Canada
Government of Canada
World Health Organization
- COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open (Government of Ontario)
- Online Self-Assessment Tool (Government of Ontario)
- Special Policies and Procedures Manual for Flight Training During COVID-19 Pandemic (Air Transport Association of Canada)
- Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Region of Waterloo)
- How to Self-Monitor (Public Health)
- How to Self-Isolate (Public Health)
- Help Stop the Spread (Public Health)
- What is Social Distancing (Public Health)
- WWFC News (WWFC website)
- WWFC Facebook
- WWFC Instagram
- WWFC Twitter
- WWFC LinkedIn