Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) recently welcomed recommendations put forward by the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Council Aviation Recovery Task Force as air travel begins to resume following the COVID-19 pandemic. ACI-NA has convened an Airport Industry Recovery Advisory Panel to assess the operational needs of airports in the U.S. and Canada, as well as considerations to ensure passenger safety and limit further spread of COVID-19. This panel will help guide discussions about how the airport industry can safely handle increasing passenger levels in their facilities, leveraging the recommendations put forward by ICAO.
“Ensuring the health, safety, and security of the traveling public and airport workers is an airport’s top priority,” said Kevin M. Burke, ACI-NA president and CEO. “Aviation is a complex global enterprise. We applaud ICAO’s swift work to identify a full range of steps that can be taken to enhance public health and support the industry’s global recovery. We thank the Federal Aviation Administration and Transport Canada for their proactive work in advancing this report. As the industry moves into recovery in the United States and Canada, collaboration and harmonization are essential as we take steps to rebuild the public’s confidence in air travel.”
North American airports responded to COVID-19 by establishing enhanced health and sanitation protocols that include much more frequent cleaning, with an intense focus on reducing “touch points” in public areas and restrooms, enhancing facility cleaning and hygiene practices, increasing availability of hand sanitizers in many airport areas for passengers and employees, raising awareness about the need to ensure physical distancing, encouraging or requiring use of cloth facial coverings, and additional education and training for airport employees and contractors. Many of the practices will remain in place for the foreseeable future.