Christian Cruz is one of the members of the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG) cleaning team helping to protect travellers, airport employees and our community. We tagged along for a day to see what it takes to help provide a healthy airport environment.

6:41 A.M. – As he approaches the Custodial Services office in the basement of Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, Cruz can’t help but feel excited. It’s a new work day and he has an important role to play to keep everyone travelling through or working in the terminal safe.

7:00 A.M. – Cruz starts his day by reviewing the overnight cleaning log and preparing his work cart. Behind him, a washing machine buzzes to signal the end of yet another load of micro-fibre cloths. The cleaning team will use 300 micro-fibre cloths per day as they grab onto dirt, bacteria and viruses instead of smearing them like a cotton cloth would.

7:25 A.M. – The first stop of Cruz’s day brings him to the expansive Arrivals Hall. He’ll rely heavily on an electrostatic sprayer to completely clean the area. The machine was purchased at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the YWG Clean Program, a multi-layered, continually-expanding approach that includes innovation as a key pillar to provide a healthy airport environment.

9:07 A.M. – Cruz ducks through a door labelled with a sign saying restricted area. On top of public areas of the terminal, he also cleans office spaces to help keep airport employees healthy.

“Time management is crucial,” said Cruz. “You’re responsible for the entire building. You can’t leave an area un-clean so it’s important to work efficiently to ensure everything is done by the end of the day.”

10 A.M. – Cruz weaves through hidden corridors as he makes his way to the secure boarding areas of the airport. He knows the entire 576,000-square-foot terminal like the back of his hand, having worked at YWG for the past nine years.

10:26 A.M. – As he disinfects seats, boarding gate counters and vending machines, Cruz’s cell phone pings. He’s just received a cleaning request for an office in the Administration Building. As a Team Lead, Cruz is responsible for responding to work orders and dispatching cleaners to areas on top of his cleaning duties.

“You have to set a good example for the other employees,” said Cruz. “I help teach, advise and lead them. It’s a bit harder to do now as we practice physical distancing and don’t work beside our co-workers a lot, but I’ve found new ways to guide them.”

11:30 A.M. – Lunch time! Breaks are an important part of Cruz’s day. By this point, he’s already logged more than 8,000 steps. Cruz will spend the next thirty minutes recharging before moving on to a busy afternoon filled with tasks.

“You never think of being tired,” said Cruz. “It’s my work. You’re helping to protect people and making sure passengers feel safe.”

NOON – Cruz heads from the break room to a supply closet. Here he’ll fill a cleaning bucket and grab a mop to add to his cart. He quickly checks in with co-workers to see how their day is going before heading off to do quality checks.

12:15 P.M. – Back in the boarding area, Cruz checks on the washrooms which are thoroughly cleaned every 60 minutes. He’ll also ensure the sanitizing kits located at every gate and office are well stocked.

1:31 P.M. – After being on his feet for more than six hours (he’s now past 12,000 steps), Cruz hops on a ride-on floor cleaning machine to polish up the Departures and Arrivals Levels.

“Everything needs to be clean and fresh,” said Cruz. “We’re the front door to the community. You’re welcoming people to Winnipeg. We need to make sure the airport is safe and presentable.”

2:45 P.M. – Before wrapping up his day, Cruz fills in the cleaning log to pass on important information to the evening crew.

3:05 P.M. – Time to head home! Cruz walks out of the terminal (his 15,126th step of the day) with a huge smile on his face and the feeling of a job well done.

“You finish each day with a great sense of accomplishment,” said Cruz. “That’s the best part of the job. You see the results right away and know what you’re doing is helping to make an impact.”

Bouygues and WASCO (the Services arm of the Winnipeg Airports Authority) have formed a joint venture called ByWA to focus on the delivery of Soft FM and Airport Operations Support Services at a number of Canadian airports, including Winnipeg.

In April 2015, ByWA were contracted to provide a range of Airport Operations Support Services (Airport Operations Centre, Pass Office and Baggage Operations Centre) at the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport on a long-term, partnership based contract. In 2018 janitorial and a number of related services were added to the scope. We have committed to delivering high quality, responsive services which are efficient and will evolve over the life of the contract.