Managing Covid-19 at airports; ACI releases guidelines

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Airports Council International, advancing the collective interests of the world’s airports and the communities they serve, and promoting professional excellence in airport management and operations, has released an Airport Operational Practice guide, with examples for managing Covid-19 at the airport facilities.

The document shares a set of typical measures implemented at major international airports, gathered from across ACI’s membership. The document is intended to provide a number of options and examples that airports can use, rather than being a best practice. The document also notes that the local regulations may require alternative measures and approaches.

The document lists out a comprehensive set of guidelines purveying good practices that can be practiced at the airports. For example, the document recommends that a crisis coordination team needs to be established and engagement of all parties needs to be ensured. This might include the executive team, IT management, communications team, terminal operations, safety, security and airfield operations.

ACI recommends that airports start to plan ahead to what recovery might look like, and consider what communication might be needed and inspect what the impacts might be from a possible culture change as the company or organisation goes into financial survival thinking.

The document provides instructions on topics like resource analysis; staff education and wellbeing; airport staff health monitoring; restrict access and stagger work deployment; social distancing; passenger management;  facility planning and cleaning and disinfection; Inventory;  information technology requirements.

National regulators and health authorities have reacted to the spread of the virus by introducing measures directly affecting aviation and more broadly across society. Many airports are operating at vastly reduced capacity, and almost all have introduced operational measures to deal with the crisis. The document released by the Airports Council International aims to protect the health and welfare of travellers, staff and the public.

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