ACI World and IATA in joint push for globally consistent approach to testing
Joint presentation to ICAO to urge replacing quarantine with risk-based testing
Montreal and Geneva, 7 October 2020 – Airports Council International (ACI) World and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have today made a joint call for a globally-consistent approach to testing international passengers as an alternative to quarantine measures.
The global shut down of air transport as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions has had a catastrophic impact on employment. Some 4.8 million industry jobs have been lost or are under threat.
Governments must cooperate to remove quarantine restrictions and restart air travel. A systematic approach to COVID-19 testing will provide an effective way to give governments the confidence to re-open borders without quarantine.
The aviation industry, focused on the health and safety of passengers and their employees, has worked with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART), which included the World Health Organization, to agree and implement a layered approach to health measures that will enable safe operations amid the COVID-19 crisis.
As the CART reconvenes this week ACI and IATA emphasised that a systematic approach to testing must be the key focus. Both associations call for an internationally agreed and recognized approach to testing passengers during the travel process that is fast, practical, accurate, low-cost, easy-to-use and supported by public health authorities.
“Airports and airlines are united in the view that a consistent approach to testing passengers will help to restore the confidence of passengers, avoid border closures, and remove cumbersome quarantine measures which are hampering the genuine efforts of the aviation industry to recover,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “This will better foster recovery among airports, airlines and the travel and tourism sectors, thereby protecting jobs and providing the economic and social benefits that aviation delivers to the local, national, and global communities it serves.”
IATA’s Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said borders must be reopened without quarantine.
“Systematic testing is the key to restoring connectivity,” said de Juniac. “That’s critical because millions of jobs depend aviation. And millions more travellers want and need to reconnect with family, take a hard-earned vacation or support their international business needs. We must learn to live with this disease and that includes safely restoring the freedom to travel. Already we have measures in place to ensure safe journeys through ICAO’s CART recommendations. And trials around the world are helping us to demonstrate that we have effective testing technology that can be efficiently integrated into the travel process. We count on ICAO’s leadership to bring governments into agreement on an implementation plan so that aviation can reconnect people and economies. We need to do this with speed. Each day of delay puts more jobs at risk.”
Notes for editors
- 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.
- IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 290 airlines comprising 82% of global air traffic. You can follow IATA on Twitter for announcements, policy positions, and other useful industry information.
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