‘Robust and consistent’ testing plans in place of quarantining, urges ACI World

By Luke Barras-hill |

ACI World is calling on governments to follow risk-based and proportionate measures based on scientific evidence.

The voice of global airports has called on governments to replace ‘broad-brush’ requirements for quarantining with a ‘robust and consistent protocol’ for testing.

ACI World says this should be implemented only when necessary and will request that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) develops recommendations for states that are risk-based and informed by scientific and health experts.

Measures should only be applied to passengers between countries where there is significant risk and for as long as necessary to traveller confidence, continues ACI World.

CALL FOR RISK-BASED APPROACH

As is well established, the impact of the current crisis has been devastating to the aviation industry.

ACI Europe is predicting that passenger traffic across Europe’s airports will not return to 2019 levels until 2024.

ACI World has been pressing for urgent action from governments to align risk-based, practical measures to allow the aviation industry to restart in a coordinated manner, while providing reassurance to travellers.

Luis Felipe de Oliveira, Director General, ACI World.

ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “Unilateral national measures, especially a quarantine requirement, is damaging to both the industry and passenger confidence.

“Unnecessary quarantine measures are particularly harmful to passenger confidence as international air travellers have no assurance that, if they make flight arrangements, they will be able to return to their place of departure to continue their daily lives.

“Harmonised measures and a risk-based approach that relies on scientific evidences will help to restore the traveller confidence and support the economy recovery of the aviation ecosystem.

“The imposition of such restrictions fails to take into account other options such as testing. It is time to resume international air transport in a safe and efficient manner, where people and goods can travel freely without increasing the risk of infection or the fear of re-imposed and unnecessary quarantine.

“A risk-based approach would support the concept of travel bubbles, with low risk countries requiring no testing or quarantine for travel. Medium risk locations might require testing only, with mutual acceptance of test results and arrivals from high risk locations might require a combination of testing and a short quarantine to enable the verification of results.”

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