ACI Europe and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have signed an agreement supporting the ongoing safe and secure recovery of aviation following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The agreement is for the implementation of the joint EASA/ECDC Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol, which the organizations said will further consolidate this operational guidance to airports and airlines as the European standard and reference for countries to follow. Following ACI’s close involvement in the development of the Protocol, it said the agreement now commits the European airport trade body to coordinate the ongoing engagement of EASA with the European airport community.
Specifically, it noted that the cooperation agreement establishes a monitoring model to fine-tune and improve the Protocol in the light of operational practice and further developments. As such, this agreement complements EASA’s Aviation Industry Charter for Covid-19, through which a number of airports report data back to the safety agency.
Along with the signing of the cooperation agreement, ACI Europe also published its Guidelines for a Healthy Passenger Experience at Airports document, which marks the culmination of the organization’s ‘Off the Ground’ initiative to support a safe and coordinated restart of air transportation.
Following the signing, Olivier Jankovec, director general of Airports Council International Europe, said, “Working hand in hand with regulators and industry stakeholders is key to a safe and effective recovery of aviation. This is what airports have been committed to all along in this crisis and the cooperation agreement we have signed today with EASA is another reflection of that. There is no doubt that the Aviation Health Safety Protocol developed by EASA and ECDC has been instrumental in [the] restarting of aviation. This is indeed the standard that Europe’s airports are following.
“The guidelines we are releasing today are built upon this protocol. They complement it by providing airports concrete advice and solutions to adapt to the new normal in operations and customer service. In doing so, our guidelines take stock of a new category of passengers – the health-concerned passenger – and also look at how we can harness technological developments and digitization. The priority and focus are clear: this is about delivering a safe end-to-end journey unrivalled in any other transport mode.”