As the aviation industry prepares to sustain a long-term recovery, Airports Council International World has published two guides to help airports deal with recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The third edition of ACI World’s Airport Operations Business Restart and Recovery has been retitled Airport Operations and COVID-19: Business Recovery, reflecting the severe impact of the pandemic on both the short-term economic outlook for aviation, and the longer-range implications.
The updated guide covers practical and efficient health and operational measures that airports can introduce to support safe travel. In addition ACI World has also expanded guidance on health passes and vaccinations, as well as risk management when returning to operations, with a particular focus on human factors during recovery.
The other publication is the second edition of the Airport Digital Transformation Handbook. The guide advises airport leadership on the ways in which new technologies and digitalization of existing manual processes can address airport capacity challenges as air traffic rebounds to pre-pandemic levels.
The handbook focuses on how to approach digital transformation, and has been adapted to include the changes that came with COVID-19.
Last year, ACI was one of the aviation organizations that provided input to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s COVID-19 Aviation Recovery Task Force. ICAO then published its policy recommendations to its member states, the Take-Off Guidance document, and the manual on Cross Border Testing and Risk Management.
“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.
ACI World has predicted the industry recovery will occur in phases:
• The current phase is mainly around domestic travel with a slow increase in passenger volume
• Capacity will scale up gradually based on passenger demand
• Eventually there will be a 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,” de Oliveira said. “The COVID-19 crisis necessitates new systems and processes that are more efficient and touchless, enabling quick recovery and future growth.”