Press Releases

ACI and ITF reiterate call to governments to prioritize vaccinations for airport workers

March 31, 2021

Montreal, 31 March 2021 – The global bodies representing the world’s airports and airport workers have renewed calls on governments to prioritize the vaccination of aviation workers in the wake of new guidance from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and their latest call with WHO. Airports Council International (ACI) World and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) recognize the unwavering support from ICAO and WHO on this important cause throughout the pandemic.

ACI and ITF have contributed to the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART), and both organizations welcome the release of its updated guidance based on World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations that includes new considerations on testing and vaccination which will be instrumental in setting a global standard for recovery.

In December 2020, both ACI World and the ITF had called for airport workers to be prioritized in vaccination campaigns in order to support a global recovery from the pandemic.

Following the publication of the most recent ICAO guidance, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ACI World Director General said: “Resumption of air travel is possible when all stakeholders prioritize safety. The priority for airports has always been to protect the health and welfare of travellers, staff, and the public. Following priority groups (health professionals etc.), vaccination for key workers is a critical next step to ensure we maintain this. Vaccination, coordinated testing regimes and ongoing risk assessment will be fundamental to restoring passengers’ confidence to fly.”

“Aviation remains a key engine, driving the recovery from the pandemic through the movement of essential goods, including, of course, the vaccines, and through the economic and social benefits that are delivered to the communities airports serve,” de Oliveira continued.

Stephen Cotton, ITF General Secretary, supported the new ICAO guidance, saying “We support ICAO’s new guidance, especially advice to governments and the industry on vaccination and testing protocols for aviation workers and passengers, there is no doubt that these standards will be instrumental for the industry’s recovery, and critical for building passenger confidence to return to our skies,”

“Like we have seen in Singapore, we’re calling on governments to prioritize the vaccination, and the health and safety of all aviation workers – from airport security, cleaners to cabin crew and pilots. Governments must recognize these key workers and prioritize them for vaccination,” said Cotton.

Notes for editors

  1. Stay up to date with COVID-19 developments on ACI World’s dedicated news hub.
  2. 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