The main trade body representing airports in the Asia-Pacific region, Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific, said Wednesday (10 June) that airports across the region and in the Middle East are ready to restart operations because they’ve signed on to and implemented the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) to ensure passenger safety as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the planet and the aviation industry.
Airports are already implementing measures such as requiring front-line employees to wear personal protective equipment, placing additional hand sanitiser stations throughout airport facilities, enhanced cleaning and sanitation and implementing airport-wide physical distancing for the protection of passengers, ACI Asia Pacific said in its statement. Airports in the region have also widely adopted temperature checks as a health screening measure.
- IATA coronavirus resource centre
- ICAO coronavirus resource centre
- Air Cargo COVID-19 Action Page
- IATA TACT COVID-19 Operational Impact Portal
- IATA Quick Reference for Ground Handling During COVID-19
- IATA Guidance on the Safe Carriage of Cargo in the Passenger Cabin
- WHO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic
- International Society for Infection Diseases COVID-19 Page
“We are encouraged to see the majority of public health authorities directly or jointly with airport operators deploying health screening measures such as temperature checks at the airports,” said Stefano Baronci, director general, ACI Asia-Pacific. “This close cooperation between public health authorities, civil aviation authorities and airports is critical for the sector to resume operations and rebuild passengers’ confidence to travel.”
Airports in the region though are concerned because there are no clear guidelines from governments or other authorities as to how long the ICAO measures will be in place.
“Airports are clearly expressing that the measures used during the restart will not be sustainable for the longer term. It is imperative for public health authorities, civil aviation authorities and airports to continue partnering to update and adapt health screening measures based on changing data and medical evidence as travel picks up,” added Baronci.
Airports anticipate the measures for the longer-term recovery will include the promotion of a health culture, engagement with local communities to rebuild confidence to travel, automating more and installing touch-less technology, the association said.
Governments and regulators are evaluating opportunities to establish travel corridors within their sub-regions to facilitate necessary travels and resume business activities. “ACI Asia-Pacific sees this as a step in the right direction that will allow airports to show the flying public it is taking a responsible approach to opening up,” Baronci said.