Airports Council International (ACI) World Annual General Assembly has published a resolution pledging support for the industry in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aviation is major catalyst in supporting growth in other industries and is essential to the social and economic welfare across the world; it will be a key driver of the global economic recovery. The pandemic has had a devastating economic and social impact on aviation and airports, however.
At this year’s ACI World General Assembly, a resolution was adopted to support recovery by urging airports to implement best practices for the accommodation of health measures in accordance with global and regional guidance, based on ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation programme, which is supported by ICAO.
Key to this will be working with international, national, and regional health authorities to develop consistent and effective protocols for prospective travellers. These may include testing, ensuring that measures are simple, practical, and based on medical evidence, and encouraging States to recognize equivalency of measures and take a risk-based approach to travel restrictions and new process requirements.
“ACI, its World Governing Board, and Annual Assembly, are determined to support industry recovery,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “This is a global effort, however, and we must coordinate and collaborate with regulators on the development of health and hygiene measures and new passenger processes to facilitate the return of operations.
“The aviation ecosystem is facing an existential threat and the harmonization of procedures will definitely help to rebuild passenger and government confidence in air travel. Airports around the globe are running out of cash and support measures must be addressed to guarantee the continuity of essential operations, protect millions of jobs, and preserve precious air connectivity.
“To assist, we encourage governments and regulators to recognize the Airport Health Accreditation programme and to enter into bilateral arrangements as an integral part of a risk-based layered approach – including a coordinated approach to testing – to alleviate quarantine restrictions and travel bans.
“ACI will continue to provide the data to help airports adapt to passengers’ expectations, and to assist in the communication of changes and requirements to manage the expectations of passengers, build consumer confidence, minimize the impact on customer experience, and ensure efficient operations.
“As an industry, we are stronger together and ACI will continue to take a leadership with global organizations, governments and regulators to simplify the path for recovery for airports and the wider aviation ecosystem.”
To support industry recovery and restore passenger confidence, ACI has assisted airports by:
- creating the Airport Health Accreditation program, supported by ICAO
- deploying new ASQ Departure survey airport hygiene questions
- launching an ASQ Global Traveller survey to better monitor passengers’ expectations and improve passenger confidence, and
- developing tools, such as the Check and Fly app, to support the sharing of information regarding the measures in place at airports.