Aviation News in Brief 28 May 2020

ACI World issues re-start guidelines; ICAO, ILO, IMO call for ‘key worker’ designations; China relaxes border controls for some countries; ACC Aviation; AeroMedical; Gazpromneft-Aero.

(PHOTO: Shutterstock)

ACI World updates guidance for airport industry restart: Airports Council International (ACI) World has published comprehensive guidance for airports as they prepare to restart operations to assist them in sustaining a business recovery in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The publication, Aviation Operations during COVID-19 – Business Restart and Recovery, provides best practice examples and guidance for both the initial phases of this business restart, as well as the longer-term recovery process, as the industry prepares for the “new normal” post-COVID-19. ACI World recently collaborated with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to lay out the principles of restart and recovery. The new publication goes into greater detail, building on the principles to provide guidance on all aspects of airport management and operation to enable the restart of operations while maintaining the confidence of staff and travellers. It is a product of collaboration between ACI World and regions, their member airports and their partners in the aviation industry. Download the full guidelines here.

ICAO, ILO and IMO issue joint call for ‘key worker’ designations: The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) joined the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in issuing a new joint statement on the need to ensure ‘key worker’ designations for the millions of skilled personnel now maintaining essential global air and sea trade capacities. The call to world governments comes as COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines continue to curtail travel and restrict border movements, ports and airports are being closed and ships and aircraft are being denied entry, and entire transport hubs are being affected. The UN agencies are encouraging governments to ensure the ‘key worker’ designation for seafarers, marine personnel, fishing vessel personnel, offshore energy sector personnel, aviation personnel, air cargo supply chain personnel, and airport and port services personnel. The joint statement highlights that air transport moved some 4.5 billion passengers and 35 percent of all global cargo combined by value last year, and that the total number of licensed aviation professionals, which include pilots, air traffic controllers and licensed maintenance technicians, was 887,000 in 2019, according to most recent ICAO data. It also underscored how more than 80 percent of global trade by volume is moved by maritime transport and the world’s 2 million seafarers, including much of the global food supply. As early as the middle of June, estimates indicate that 150,000 seafarers a month may require international flights for repatriation or to sign onto new ships. Download the full statement here.

China to allow countries to apply for ‘green channel’ for flights: State media in China say the country will relax border controls for Singapore and several countries, allowing certain categories of people to travel to some cities. Chinese state media reported that the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) will let domestic and foreign airlines apply for “green channels” for chartered flights to airports in the mainland. The countries given the green light are Singapore, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland, said the media reports. According to a CAAC notice, flight operators can apply to the air regulator at the provincial level to run passenger charter flights. South Korea was the first country to establish a green channel with China earlier this month. Certain South Korean business travellers were allowed to enter 10 regions, including Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing, after undergoing minimal health screening and quarantine. Singapore government officials have been in talks with their Chinese counterparts to re-establish some essential reciprocal travel. An announcement is expected soon. It is also in discussions with Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Korea to re-establish essential cross-border trips.

ACC Aviation partners with AeroMedical: ACC Aviation Group announced a commercial agreement with US-based air ambulance systems specialist, AeroMedical. Founded in 1979, AeroMedical pioneered the production of specialist emergency medical services (EMS) equipment for rotary and fixed-wing aircraft and the organisation has continued to lead the field in designing, certifying and manufacturing custom-built air ambulance systems. The partnership will see ACC act as AeroMedical’s commercial representative, utilising their worldwide presence and established airline and industry relationships to capitalise on new market opportunities. ACC  President – Americas, Jamie Harris, said: “With the on-going situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen an increase in demand for air ambulance capabilities, with a number of operators transitioning aircraft to support critical medevac and patient transportation efforts during the pandemic.”

Gazpromneft-Aero reports small increase in Q1 jet-fuel sales: Gazpromneft-Aero reported a 1.5 percent year-on-year increase in jet fuel sales in the first quarter of 2020 to 856,000 tonnes. Refuelling volumes for long-haul freighter flights on the Trans-Siberian routes from Asia to Europe and Russia rose as well. The largest jet fuel sales increases were registered at the international airports of Krasnoyarsk [KJA] (+147 percent), Yekaterinburg [SVX] (+26 percent), Omsk [OMS] (+19 percent) and Novosibirsk [OVB] (+3 percent). The company has also seen a 25 percent increase in sales at the airports located in Chukotka autonomous district. Chinese airports accounted for the largest growth in wing-tip sales. Refuelling services for passenger and cargo flights are facilitated by Gazpromneft-Aero’s strategic partnership with China National Aviation Fuel Group Corporation (CNAF), the country’s national jet fuel provider, covering more than 30 international airports in China.

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.


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