May 22 2020  |  Industry News

ACI and IATA call for global cooperation, issue roadmap for restarting

By Hibah Noor

Airports Council International (ACI) World and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have jointly called on the world’s governments to introduce travel measures safely, consistently and backed by scientific evidence.

The travel industry has been effectively shut down in order to combat the spread of this virus, and these two organizations reiterate that collaboration between all participants in the global aviation ecosystem is necessary for a balanced and effective restart and recovery.

Airlines and airports, represented by these two organizations, have worked together to build a roadmap for restarting the industry, one that recognizes the priority of public health and safety. ACI and IATA have therefore jointly issued a paper called “Safely Restarting Aviation - ACI and IATA Joint Approach.”

This approach suggests preventative measures taken throughout the entire passenger journey, to minimize risk and to remove aviation from the pool of probable reinfection sources. The associations state that these measures should be “globally consistent and subject to continued review, improvement, and removal when no longer required, to ensure an even recovery.”

“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’s 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 re-infection. 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 re-starting aviation can be realized.”

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