ACI and IATA are exhorting governments to ensure any new measures rolled out for airports and airlines post-pandemic are scientifically backed and globally consistent, in order to drive a balanced and effective restart for the aviation industry.
The trade associations have jointly issued a paper laying out a pathway for restarting the aviation industry, titled Safely Restarting Aviation – ACI and IATA Joint Approach. Airlines and airports have cooperated to build a roadmap for resuming operations which reassures the travelling public that health and safety remain the overall priorities.
The joint approach proposes a layered approach of measures across the entire passenger journey to minimise the risk of virus transmission at airports and onboard aircraft. ACI and IATA said such measures should be globally consistent and subject to continued review, improvement, and removal when no longer required, to ensure an even recovery.
ACI and IATA are both central members the COVID-19 Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) being led by ICAO. CART enables the collaboration – among governments and between governments and industry – that is vital to ensure a unified response to restoring air connectivity and passenger confidence in air travel.
“Airports and airlines have come together with ICAO and the wider aviation industry to address the biggest challenge ever faced by commercial aviation in restarting a global industry while continuing to halt the spread of Covid-19,” ACI World director general Angela Gittens said.
“There is currently no single measure that could mitigate all the risks of restarting air travel but we believe a globally-consistent, outcome-based approach represents the most effective way of balancing risk mitigation with the need to unlock economies and to enable travel.”
IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said: “Safety is always our top priority and that includes public health. Restoring air connectivity is vital to restarting the global economy and reconnecting people. Our layered approach of measures recommended by airports and airlines safeguard public health while offering a practical approach for a gradual restart of operations.
“It is important to remember that the risk of transmission on board is very low. And we are determined that aviation will not be a significant source of reinfection. We are working continuously with governments to ensure that any measures put in place are done so consistently and with scientific backing. That is key to restoring public confidence so the benefits of safely restarting aviation can be realised.”