Covid-19 Measures

WATS 2021

Your safety; and the safe recovery of the airline industry

– a message from our CEO

Recovering together; safely!                                                              23/2/21

In my previous statement on this page posted in January I affirmed that the safety of all WATS participants will be our key concern, and that of our venue and hosts the Rosen Shingle Creek.

The link to the precautions they are taking is here. They confirm the highest levels of cleanliness and safe processes confirmed by the GBAC Star certificate that they now hold.

In addition, whatever the recommendations in force in June we will request that masks be worn, will remind that hand washing is still essential and we will be maintaining safe distancing, plus of course reducing touch points as much as we can. We will also clean laptops, podiums and mics between speakers while food delivery will be via individually wrapped items and boxed lunches.

By that time we expect that all those at real risk from covid will have been vaccinated but we all still depend on the integrity of our guests to cancel their travel and attendance if they know they are sick.

Looking at our industry it is early to comment on the ‘recovery’ but as reported in conversations with you all over the past days it is clear that things are moving and activity is increasing.

At the macro level at least one airline is now hiring and training pilots and cabin crew. On the 22nd February, England with a population of 56m, became the first large western nation to announce its plan to re-open, in their case a four-stage process with 5 week gaps to allow checking between each. It is interesting to note that within hours of that announcement overseas holiday bookings surged 5-6x those of the previous week with July to September ‘heavily booked’. There is an expectation that we will see a similar response elsewhere as infections fall and restrictions are lifted.

Though nothing is certain as this virus has proved over the last year, airlines and operators know that if they are to service a potentially reasonable spike in bookings over the summer attention soon needs to be paid to training for a safe return to the air.

Sadly that ‘return to the air’ is not going as the airlines need it to.

In the space of just three weeks since January 30th CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, Forbes, the LA Times, Daily Telegraph and many more daily papers, in all languages and across the world have reported on pilots claiming that lack of flying time and lack of preparedness have caused them to make errors in returning to the cockpit.

The latest comments on this issue from Captain Sullenberger can be seen here

Though not related to training issues as far as we can see two aircraft engines on consecutive days, ‘showering debris’ over those below, in Colorado and The Netherlands do not help the public perception and sadly the resulting grounding of the Pratt and Whitney 777 fleet was followed today by an FAA airworthiness directive (AD) concerning the Boeing 737 NG and MAX family aircraft, after reports of cracks on the stop fitting assembly of the forward entry door.

This all comes on top of the recent, lingering, and heavily publicized 737 Max debacle.

The global airline community cannot afford to have confidence in its safety undermined so it is important to emphasize, given the opportunity, the excellent, quality of airline training and, quite possibly that extra training will be offered to deal with the unprecedented issues we face.

WATS will provide a perfect opportunity to share thinking and create the latest and best practices in training at this most testing time for our industry.

Everyone in the airline community has suffered heavily over 2020 and far too many have lost their jobs. To help airlines attend WATS this year and aid in the recovery we have waived fees for 300 airline personnel and with the support of training and equipment suppliers we expect to offer an event that is of practical value to the entire training sector.

Join us in June and let’s get the entire ‘airline show’ back on the road.

Kind Regards.

Andy Smith, CEO and Publisher, Halldale Group


The implementation of enhanced measures will provide our attendees with the assurance and confidence that our shows and events have health and safety as our number one priority.

Below, we have summarized the best practice guide for organizing and delivering trade shows and exhibitions of all sizes, in all locations ensuring the health and safety of all attendees in response to COVID-19.

These points outline the framework we are researching and working to – our specific plans and actions will be communicated in due course by the show team.

Facemask Requirement

Requirement of every attendee at every event in line with local authority requirements.

Contact Tracing

Offering assistance to the proper authorities in contact tracing efforts where country laws allow.

Infrared & Thermal Imaging Temperature Screening

Equipment will be available at the entrances to venues at organised industry gatherings.

Enhanced First Aid & Medical Support

Offering an increased number of First Aid stations located throughout the event with enhanced medical support available.

Quarantine Area

Offering a dedicated quarantine area for people displaying the symptoms of COVID-19.

Emergency Response Plans

Implementation of processes for possible COVID-19 incidents, both confirmed and suspected.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Key personnel, including cleaning, medical, food and beverage workers, etc., will be offered PPE.

Employee Screening

Potentially look at encouraging all Halldale employees to undergo COVID-19 symptomatic screening in advance of each work day.

Crowd Density Standard (CDS)

By controlling the density, appropriate physical distancing can occur throughout the event.

Eliminating Handshakes

Recommend the elimination of handshakes.

Staggered Admission

Where needed, attendees will be allocated a designated time slot for arrival and stipulated visit duration and will be encouraged to set meetings in advance.

Floor Planning

Introduction of one-way visitor traffic that could create a logical flow through venues.

Set Up & Break Down

Enhanced guidelines to assist contractors in the set up and break down of events.

Conference Rooms

Rooms with recommended density and seating arrangements will follow local distancing guidance.

Food & Beverage

Replace open or self-service buffets with food served pre-packaged or in closed containers.


An increased use of technology can facilitate seamless and contactless access upon entry and exit.

Venue Deep-Cleaning

Requirement of venues to provide a deep cleaning prior to move in and again before the event opens.

Venue Ambient Environmental Controls

Recommend ensuring the proper ventilation, temperature, humidity, UV air purification controls, etc. are in place.

Waste Management

Collection and removal of waste receptacles will be increased during events in order to minimise risk.

Stand Cleaning

Exhibitors will be required to disinfect their respective booths and exhibits regularly throughout the event.

Hand Sanitizers

Stations will be positioned at key locations throughout the event.

Conference & Seminar Rooms

All equipment, including AV, will be disinfected between each use, and conference rooms will have an increased cleaning schedule throughout the day.

Show Website, Apps, & SMS

Guidelines can be communicated for each event through all marketing channels.

Pre-Show Messaging

Communication of key pieces of information, including updates from global and local health organizations, show admission policies, hygiene briefings and health protection measures.

Exhibitor Manuals

Will be updated to include specific details of what exhibitors need to do to execute the enhanced safety and hygiene measures.

Event Signage

Will include common signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as communicated by the appropriate medical and health authorities.

Additional Resources