The industry association representing Europe’s airports, ACI Europe, has published what it calls “two landmark documents” that address airports’ commitments to the public and make recommendations to policy makers as travel restrictions are eased in the European Union.
ACI Europe stated that these documents “unequivocally and firmly signal both the readiness and confidence of Europe’s airports for a safe resumption of air travel.”
The two documents, titled 10 Commitments from the airport industry to Passengers, Communities and Authorities and 10 Recommendations to National Authorities and the European Institutions, are published in collaboration with the national airport associations of France (UAF&FA), Germany (ADV), Italy (Assaeroporti), Romania (RAA) and the UK (AOA).
The European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, commented on the move, “I welcome and support the commitments made today by the European airport industry on confidently and safely restoring air connectivity. They are fully in line with our guidelines and specifications, showing responsibility and care both for passengers and for staff. This is the new normal as we learn to live and travel with the virus”.
The commitments document underlines the priority placed by airports on delivering a safe, reliable and sustainable passenger experience. These include a pledge to fully implement national health safety guidelines based on the EASA/ECDC COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol, to enhance standards of cleaning and disinfection throughout airport premises; to encourage the use of touchless technology, biometrics and innovative solutions to reduce queues; and to ensure clear and up-to-date communication on health and sanitary measures to passengers.
The 10 commitments reiterate that Europe’s airports are among the safest, cleanest and most controlled public spaces as the industry strives to return to normality, as well as reaffirm its continued move toward the target of Net Zero CO2 emissions at the latest by 2050 for operations under its control and support the broader decarbonization of aviation in line with the objectives of the Green Deal.
The 10 Recommendations meanwhile, which underline airports’ critical role in the economic development and the connectivity of their regions and communities, call on national authorities and European institutions to support industry’s own commitments and investments with proportionate regulation which must be risk-based and fit for purpose.
ACI Europe has asked policymakers to develop a clear plan to rebuild air connectivity and reinvigorate tourism, championing collaboration at national and European levels and ensuring that no supporting measure benefits one actor in the air transportation ecosystem at the expense of another.