ACI Europe publishes 10 commitments and recommendations for aviation

ACI Europe’s commitments and recommendations focus on the safe resumption of European aviation as COVID-19 travel restrictions begin to ease.

ACI Europe

Airports Council International (ACI) Europe, the industry association representing Europe’s airports, has marked the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions between most of its member states by publishing two landmark documents: ‘10 Commitments from the airport industry to Passengers, Communities and Authorities’, and ‘10 Recommendations to National Authorities and the European Institutions’.

Following weeks of intense work by airports and close cooperation with competent authorities both at a European Union (EU) and national level, these documents unequivocally and firmly signal both the readiness and confidence of Europe’s airports for a safe resumption of air travel.

The documents have been published in collaboration with the national airport associations of France (Union des Aéroports Français & Francophones Associés [UAF&FA]), Germany (Flughafenverband ADV), Italy (Assaeroporti), Romania (Romanian Airports Association [RAA]) and the UK (Airport Operators Association [AOA]).

The European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, welcomed ACI Europe’s commitments, saying “Every journey starts with a first step, and every journey by aircraft starts at the airport. I welcome and support the commitments made today by the European airport industry on confidently and safely restoring air connectivity. They are fully in line with our guidelines and specifications, showing responsibility and care both for passengers and for staff. This is the new normal as we learn to live and travel with the virus”.

The ‘10 Commitments to our Passengers, Communities and Authorities‘ underline the priority placed by Europe’s airports on delivering a safe, reliable and sustainable passenger experience. By themselves, the commitments reiterate the fact that Europe’s airports are amongst the safest, cleanest and most controlled public spaces as we strive to return to normality.  

Additionally, the industry’s commitments embrace its continued climate action towards the target of net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 (at the latest) for operations under its control and support the broader decarbonisation of aviation in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal.

These commitments include the pledge to:

  • Fully implement national health and safety guidelines based on the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol
  • Enhance the standards of cleaning and disinfection throughout airport premises
  • Encourage the use of touchless technology, biometrics and innovative solutions to reduce queues
  • Ensure clear and up-to-date communication on health and sanitary measures to passengers.

The ‘10 Recommendations to National Authorities and the European Institutions‘, which underline airports’ critical role in the economic development and the connectivity of their regions and communities, call on national authorities and European institutions to support the industry’s own commitments and investments with proportionate regulation, which must be risk-based and fit for purpose.

ACI Europe asks policymakers to develop a clear plan to re-build air connectivity and re-invigorate tourism, championing collaboration at national and European levels and ensuring that no supporting measure benefits one actor in the air transport eco-system at the expense of another.

Olivier Jankovec, ACI Europe’s Director General, said: “Europe’s airports are economic enablers with safety running through their very DNA. Our 10 commitments and 10 recommendations are concrete, confident and unequivocal. We’re ready to welcome back our passengers, and to play our part in the economic recovery of our society. We clearly ask of European policymakers at national and international levels that they match our commitments with proportionate and harmonised actions. The European Commission’s call to member states to lift remaining intra-EU restrictions as of today, and with the wider world by the end of this month, is a welcome signal with which we stand fully aligned. Let’s reconnect and fly again.”

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