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ACI World updates airport operations business recovery guidance

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New information on health passes, COVID-19 testing facilities and risk management.

MONTREAL - Airports Council International (ACI) World has published updated guidance for airports to aid in their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on their operations.

As the industry prepares to sustain a long-term recovery, the third edition of Airport Operations Business Restart and Recovery has been retitled to Airport Operations and COVID-19: Business Recovery.

ACI has not only updated its guidance on the practical and efficient health and operational measures that can be introduced to support safe travel, but has also expanded the guidance to include information on health passes and vaccinations, as well as risk management when returning to operations, with a particular focus on human factors during recovery.

“Over the last 15 months, ACI has worked with governments, international organizations and industry partners to address the concerns of the aviation industry in an effort to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and return to a thriving and dynamic business,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said.

“Airports have shown considerable resilience and ingenuity in developing procedures to help passengers feel safe and secure, and ACI has promoted the interests of airports in the global community, which goes well beyond aviation. The ACI Airport Health Accreditation Programme is a clear example of our shared commitment to prioritized health, safety, and the customer experience, on the path to recovery.”

ACI World expects the return to business for the industry to take place in phases:

  • (Current phase) Mainly domestic travel recovery with a slow increase in passenger volume.
  • Gradual scale-up in capacity based on passenger demand.
  • Return to more normal passenger volumes.

“With the roll out of vaccines worldwide and the loosening of travel restrictions, the time for airport business recovery is here,” Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “The updated guidance will help airports to seize the moment. It covers all aspects of airport management and operation to help airport operators choose and implement measures that might be appropriate according to local circumstances.

“ACI continues to advocate the importance of governments policy support and assistance to pursue a coordinated and risk-based approach to combining testing and vaccination to promote travel when the epidemiological situation allows.”

The third edition of this publication has been sponsored by Honeywell, which have contributed new chapters on technological solutions for healthy airports.

Earlier this year the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) published updated guidance, to which ACI has provided its input, to help ensure global alignment. The ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force then published its policy recommendations to States, the Take-Off Guidance Document, and the Manual on Cross Border Testing and Risk Management.

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