ACI APAC calls new policies to help airports make a ‘sustainable recovery’ from pandemic

Sydney Airport during the pandemic. (PHOTO: Shutterstock)

Use this oneAirports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific has called for flexible regulatory policies, innovative procedures, greater efficiency and a better passenger experience as part of its long-term approach to help airports make a sustainable recovery.

At the ICAO’s 57th Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation for Asia and Pacific Regions in Incheon, South Korea, ACI Asia-Pacific made several recommendations related to ACI’s approach to airports decarbonisation; need for responsive and flexible regulatory framework; adoption of One-Stop Security; addressing manpower crisis at airports; smooth operational recovery from pandemic; Role of APEX in aerodrome certification.

Stefano Baronci, director general of ACI Asia-Pacific.

Stefano Baronci, director general of ACI Asia-Pacific, said: “We are pleased that ICAO Member States have, to a large extent, have favourably considered our recommendations to further enhance airports’ role as engines of economic and social progress in a safe and sustainable manner. In particular, the Conference recommendations for States to include the Airport Carbon Accreditation and APEX in Safety in their National Aviation Plans is a strong incentive for ACI Asia-Pacific to continue to assist developing countries in building capacity consistently with the ICAO Policy of No Country Left behind.

“The way towards recovery in Asia-Pacific is still long and challenging but States have unequivocally committed to strengthen regional cooperation, including in the areas of reviving air travel, enhancing manpower, improving operations to ensure a smooth traveller experience, aviation safety and sustainability,” Baronci said. “The upcoming 41st ICAO Assembly in September will be a critical juncture for building consensus at global level on important initiatives related to the decarbonisation of the sector and harmonisation of health measures.”

The conference recommended that:

  1. ICAO to progress as a priority the High-Level Conference on COVID (HLCC) 2021 recommendations and actions aimed at developing a crisis response framework for future health crises that draws on the recommendations and guidance and advice developed by Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART);
  2. States enhance the use of digital health platforms, where applicable, and simplify the processes by removing the need for airlines to check physical documents at check-in;
  3. Government agencies in individual States coordinate and collaborate among themselves to provide a single platform for the collection of comprehensive information about passengers and issuance of digital notification of approval to travel.

The conference urged States/Administrations to support the 41st Session of the ICAO Assembly in its deliberations on Long Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG). In respect to this, the conference encouraged close discussions among Asia-Pacific States/Administrations to ensure the interests of the region are reflected in any decision on an LTAG.

The conference also urged States/Administrations to support airport operators in implementing de-carbonisation strategies and encouraged States/Administrations to consider using ACI’s Airport Carbon and Emissions Reporting Tool (ACERT) and participating in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation and including them within their State Action Plans.

The conference acknowledged the challenge of manpower shortages of the aviation ecosystem and urged governments to work closely with industry stakeholders to alleviate this problem in the short-and medium-term as well as to develop a roadmap to make airport employment attractive and competitive in the long-term; and to ensure proper staffing at processing points such as immigration, customs and security.

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