ACI Sanitary Measures to Boost the Aerospace IndustryBy Sofía Hanna | Wed, 01/13/2021 - 10:13
The Airports Council International (ACI) started taking measures that could benefit airports, their employees and travelers through its most recent release: the Airport Sanitary Measures Audit Program. ACI also requested governments to make airport employees a priority in vaccination terms. Though advances are being made, the council informed that with more requirements and restrictions on flights, the harder the recovery for this sector will be.
The Airport Sanitary Measures Audit Program, according to A21, is a verification process to check if airports' hygiene and preventive measures are appropriate or if they need to be refined. Once experts have done the revision, the airport receives a "SafeGuardTM" label, setting it apart from others at the moment.
So far, two airports have received the certification: the Fiumicino and Ciampino airports in Rome. "These airports have set a strong example and we will continue to work with other terminals around the world to support the recovery so, in this way, the social and economic benefits of aviation can reach communities," mentioned the CEO of ACI, Luis Felipe de Oliveira.
Regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, ACI’s release mentions that airport employees should be next in line after the vulnerable sectors of the population and health workers to receive the vaccine. ACI and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) justified their request by explaining that airport employees are on the battle line, coming into daily contact with the traveling public. "Making them the priority for vaccination campaigns will demonstrate that the health and safety of passengers and employees remain of vital importance to the industry," reported A21.
These requests are being made considering this year's new concern for the aviation sector. Certain protocols that had been implemented and then suspended are coming back, like quarantines on top of mandatory tests and new bans on flights to certain destinations. These measures are limiting the number of passengers. "Between January and November 2020, the airlines that operate in Latin America transported about 40 percent of the total passengers transported in that period of 2019. November marked a milestone with about 16 million passengers in the region (45 percent of the total in November 2019) thanks to the reactivation of practically all countries in the region," as stated by José Ricardo Botelho, CEO of ALTA, who also mentioned that there is an interest to travel considering the current situation. However, reimposing too strict measures could have a detrimental effect.
ACI’s proposals could be fundamental for the industry's future because, as previously mentioned by MBN, the Mexican aviation industry has suffered a free fall in demand since the start of the pandemic. Results have shown that the industry has been recovering little by little. Another big hit could send the industry spiraling once again.