Press Releases

Updated ICAO guidance supports harmonized global recovery, says ACI

March 12, 2021

New considerations on testing and vaccination published by ICAO

Montreal, 12 March 2021 – Airports Council International (ACI) World has today welcomed updated industry guidance published by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) which will support a harmonized and consistent global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aviation has been brought to a standstill and a balanced and effective restart and recovery will depend on collaboration among the key participants in the global aviation ecosystem.

ACI World believes the new Phase III updates issued by the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force – and adopted today by the ICAO Council – will help bring this coordination. The updates include renewed policy recommendations to States, the Take-Off Guidance Document, and the Manual on Cross Border Testing and Risk Management.

“ACI has provided strong support and collaboration to ICAO and we welcome the publication of its updated guidance along with the new considerations on testing and vaccination which will help to set a global standard for recovery,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said.

“While the industry continues to navigate the impacts and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a successful recovery will require consistency and globally harmonization.

“The new guidance includes a recommendation to governments that aviation workers in critical safety and security positions are recognized as essential workers and prioritized fore vaccination in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines. ACI has made a similar call because this will ensure the availability of air transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The updated guidance published today will provide immeasurable assistance in promoting the harmonization of measures being introduced around the world to facilitate the restart of air travel which will allow aviation to be a key engine driving global economic recovery.

“ACI will, next week, publish an updated edition of its COVID-19 Aviation Business Restart and Recovery document which is in full alignment with ICAO guidance and will help airports navigate this changing landscape as they work towards a sustained recovery.”

To support the global coordination of new measures and underpin recovery, ACI created the Airport Health Accreditation programme which is supported by ICAO. The programme provides an assessment of airport health measures in accordance with the task force recommendations and in alignment with the joint EASA and ECDC Aviation Health Safety Protocol and ACI EUROPE’s Guidelines for a Healthy Passenger Experience at Airports. So far, almost 300 airports around the world have been accredited with hundreds more in the process of being accredited.

“The Airport Health Accreditation programme continues to provide airports with an important way to demonstrate to passengers, staff, regulators, and governments that they are prioritizing health and safety in a measurable, established manner while also validating their own measures and processes,” Luis Felipe de Oliveira said.

ICAO first adopted the task force’s COVID-19 response and recovery guidelines for international air transport in June 2020, with Phase II recommendations being issued last November, and Phase III following today.

Notes for editors

  1. More information can be found on ICAO’s COVID-19 Portal.
  2. Stay up to date with ACI World’s COVID-19 communications through its dedicated news hub.
  3. 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 2021, ACI serves 701 members, operating 1933 airports in 183 countries.

Media contacts

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