Press Releases

ICAO’s new COVID-19 testing manual a step towards aviation recovery

Testing should replace restrictive quarantine measures and promote travel

Montreal, 23 November 2020 – Airports Council International (ACI) World has welcomed the publication of the Testing and Cross-Border Risk Management Measures Manual by the International Civil Aviation Organization as a step forward in promoting the recovery of the global air travel industry.

ACI World believes that introducing a coordinated and consistent risk-based approach to COVID-19 testing will reduce reliance on measures that restrict air travel and the movement of persons arriving in a country, such as quarantine.

Restrictive quarantine measures are hampering the recovery of air travel as they provide a disincentive for passengers. Indeed, ACI’s recently published ASQ Global Traveller Survey found that 80% of those who wanted to travel in the coming months would be dissuaded if quarantine was required.

The publication of this manual will help to move the industry beyond such measures as it provides guidance for countries in implementing testing as a component of their overall COVID-19 risk management strategy.

“The considerable efforts of the aviation industry to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and to lead a global economic recovery are being severely hampered by restrictive and disproportionate measures such as quarantine” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “The aviation industry is united in the view that a coordinated and globally-consistent approach to testing as an alternative to quarantine will have the dual effect of reassuring passengers that air travel is safe and encouraging them to fly knowing they won’t have to quarantine.

“We are grateful to ICAO for the collaborative approach in producing this manual and we now say to governments that we stand ready to assist in developing a cohesive and harmonized approach to allow us to rebuild air connectivity with airlines and partners in the aviation ecosystem.”

The manual has been prepared by aviation health experts led by ICAO in close coordination with the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force and with support from the World Health Organization, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, European Centre for Prevention and Disease Control and others, as well as aviation medical and health experts from governments and industry. These organizations form the Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA).

Notes for editors

  1. Download the Testing and Cross-Border Risk Management Measures Manual.
  2. More information about ICAO’s Council Aviation Recovery Task Force Take-Off Guidance.
  3. The ASQ Global Traveller Survey included passengers that travelled in 2019 and that are planning to travel again to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect future traveling behaviours.
  4. Stay up to date with ACI World’s COVID-19 communications through its dedicated news hub.
  5. CAPSCA brings together international, regional, national, and local organizations to work together to improve preparedness planning and response to public health events that affect the aviation sector. More information about CAPSCA.
  6. 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

Anita Berthier
Director, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254