Airports Council International Europe (ACI EUROPE) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on Friday signed a cooperation agreement to support the ongoing safe and secure recovery of aviation following the devastating impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
ACI Europe represents over 500 airports in 46 European countries and EASA is the centrepiece of the EU’s strategy for aviation safety.
The cooperation agreement was signed to further consolidate the EASA/ECDC COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol to airports and airlines as the European standard and reference for States to follow.
Following ACI EUROPE’s close involvement in the development of the protocol, the agreement now commits the European airport trade body to coordinate the ongoing engagement of EASA with the European airport community.
Specifically, the cooperation agreement establishes a monitoring model on behalf of ACI EUROPE in order to fine-tune and improve the protocol in the light of operational practice and further developments. As such, this agreement complements EASA’s Aviation Industry Charter for COVID-19, through which a number of airports report data back to the Safety Agency.
“Working hand in hand with regulators and industry stakeholders is key to a safe and effective recovery of aviation. This is what airports have been committed to all along in this crisis and the cooperation agreement we have signed today with EASA is another reflection of that,” ACI EUROPE Director General Olivier Jankovec said.
On his part, EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said that recovery from the Covid-19 crisis requires coordination at European and international level.
“The pledge made by many ACI members through the EASA Aviation Industry Charter to contribute to the monitoring of the protocol implementation ensures that we have the feedback loop necessary to consistently refine the guidelines, so as to provide the best and safest possible experience for travellers,” he said.
Along with the signature of the cooperation agreement, ACI EUROPE also released its Guidelines for a Healthy Passenger Experience at Airports to support a safe and coordinated restart in aviation.
Endorsed by EASA, the guidelines provide detailed step-by-step guidance and advice to airports on how to implement the EASA/ECDC COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol – considering all possible actions, methodologies, technologies and implications in terms of facility and resource management as well as communications.