Press Releases

ACI issues airport IT best practice guidance during COVID-19 pandemic

Cybersecurity is a key issue with large numbers of staff now working remotely

Montreal, 30 March 2020 – Airports Council International (ACI) World has issued guidance on IT practices being implemented by airports around the globe in response to the unprecedented disruption and upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the rapid decline in traffic as a result of widespread travel restrictions and the health and safety implications of the spread of COVID-19, airports are ensuring the safety and health of all airport stakeholders by reducing onsite staff – including IT staff -to essential personnel only. They are adopting emergency HR measures and increasing the use of online collaborative tools and remote working to ensure business continuity.

These new working practices are not without challenges and risks and this Advisory Bulletin – Airport Information Technology recommendations during COVID-19 – provides recommendations to help airports with this transition.

“Airports are being forced to reconsider their normal business and operational processes and this advisory bulletin provides airports with a set of important key actions for addressing IT concerns during this pandemic,” ACI World Director General Angela Gittens said.

“A key aspect for airports, especially with larger numbers of staff accessing IT systems remotely, is the implementation of cyber resilience for business continuity.

“It is imperative for airports to have up-to-date cybersecurity policies and procedures which should be made available and apply to not only the IT and cybersecurity personnel, but the workforce in general.”

Along with cyber security measures, the bulletin provides guidance in building a strong collaborative team, ensuring effective and secure IT infrastructure for remote access and establishing a common information sharing approach. It also covers the deployment of innovative technologies and solutions for autonomous operations.

Airports are currently taking whatever measures are needed to ensure business continuity in the long term and while the bulletin also includes information on shutting-down systems, it also explores how airports will need to plan to bring them back up and restore then to full capacity.

“Airports are currently focused on ensuring business continuity, but they will hopefully soon be considering how to manage the business impact in preparation for recovery and to accelerate growth,” Angela Gittens said.

Notes for editors

  1. Read the full Advisory Bulletin.
  2. ACI World has also issued Advisory Bulletins on Transmission of Communicable Diseases,the predicted global economic impact on the airports sector, and on best practice for security screening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Stay up to date with ACI World’s COVID-19 communications through its dedicated news hub.
  4. Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, customer-centric and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2020, ACI serves 668 members, operating 1979 airports in 176 countries.

Media contacts

Bojana Jeremic
Manager, External Relations and Special Events
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254

Sabrina Guerrieri
Manager, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1200