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The region’s airports are ready for aviation to restart


Airports across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East are ready for the restart of the sector following the crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with the ongoing implementation of a set of common public health measures, according to ACI Asia-Pacific.

The association notes that they are ready they implemented measures in full support and alignment with the recently-released recommendations in the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) Report that sets the guidelines for a common travel experience across the region’s airports.

Indeed, ACI Asia-Pacific notes that airports across the board are already implementing measures such as requiring frontline 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.

Many airports in ACI’s largest region have also widely adopted temperature checks as a health screening measure.

“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,” enthuses ACI Asia-Pacific director general, Stefano Baronci.

“This close co-operation between public health authorities, civil aviation authorities and airports is critical for the sector to resume operations and rebuild passengers’ confidence to travel.”

According to ACI Asia-Pacific, many of the airports consulted are of the view that short-term measures could have a negative impact on the airport’s passenger handling capacity as the industry continues its recovery.

“Airports are clearly expressing that the measures used during the restart will not be sustainable for the longer term,” notes Baronci.

“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.”

ACI Asia-Pacific reveals that 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 touchless technology.

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,” adds Baronci.

Members consulted include those in the ACI Asia-Pacific’s Regional Board and COVID-19 Task Force to understand which public health measures are being implemented, which entities are responsible for which measures, who will bear the cost and what the impacts on airport operations are.

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