ACI: Airports need urgent relief measures

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Airports need relief measures and a coordinated program to aid recovery as soon as possible, says the Airport Council International (ACI) World Governing Board.

The resolution passed by the board called for states, regulatory authorities and all aviation stakeholders to coordinate industry engagement and promote an internationally recognized framework for sustainable recovery.

COVID-19 has caused unprecedented disruption to global air transport, with ACI World estimating that revenues could fall almost US$100bn in 2020.

ACI World is pushing for relief measures protecting airport charges and revenues, tax relief, concession fee waivers, suspending slot usage requirements, protection of air cargo operations, and financial help to protect operations and jobs.

Angela Gittens, director general of ACI World, said, “Airports are important engines of economic growth, wealth creation and employment, and the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the industry and broader economy has halted the airport industry at global level. Airports need urgent relief to help assist them to weather the far-reaching economic ramifications of the crisis and help lay the foundation of a balanced recovery.”

ACI World has released a nine-point plan to ensure restrictions are coordinated and practical.

It calls for industry engagement with health authorities to protect passengers; risk-based approaches for travel restrictions and process requirements; recovery best practices for health and hygiene; protecting airport staff; effective communication with stakeholders and travelers; a flexible approach to changing circumstances; evaluating consumer confidence; focusing on sustainability; and engaging with stakeholders.

Gittens added, “Recognizing that the entire aviation ecosystem has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a coordinated program recovery is essential to ensure the survival of the airport industry as well as the aviation industry as a whole.”

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