The Romanian Airports Association, a member of the International Council of Airports, Europe Region (ACI EUROPE) was part of the working group that developed the 2 ACI Europe reference documents, which were published with the lifting of intra-EU travel restrictions . Documents entitled “10 Airport Industry Commitments to Passengers, Communities and Authorities” and “10 Recommendations to National Authorities and European Institutions” show the airport industry’s commitments to reliably and safely restore air connectivity. The two documents were published in collaboration with the airport associations of France (UAF & FA), Germany (ADV), Italy (Assaeroporti), Great Britain (AOA) and the Romanian Airports Association, whose president is Mr. David Ciceo, General Manager of the Airport Cluj International. Severe financially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, European airports have requested through ACI Europe to lift flight restrictions in both EU Member States and other countries by the end of June 2020. Assures passengers and the European and national authorities that the measures implemented make air transport and airport space one of the safest in terms of health standards. ACI Europe also emphasized in the two documents the major importance that airports have in the economic development of states, therefore calls on decision-makers to draw up a clear plan for rebuilding air connectivity and reviving tourism. ACI-Europe’s efforts were also appreciated by the European Commissioner for Transport, Mrs. Adina Vălean.
Note to editors
The Romanian Airports Association (A.A.R.) has 23 members, of which 16 are civil airports and 7 are aviation companies. A.A.R. represents and promotes the interests of airports among national authorities and constantly collaborates with international institutions in the field, having an important role in the development of civil aviation in Romania.
“10 commitments to our passengers, communities and authorities”European airports are committed to working safely to restore European air connectivity and the economy by:
1.Implement the necessary measures to ensure a fast, safe and coordinated recovery of the activity. Our priority is to provide passengers with the highest quality experience;
2. Full implementation of nationally agreed instructions. We call for national alignment with the EASA / ECDC COVID-19 Protocol on Aviation Safety – in order to achieve a reduction in the risks to the health of passengers and staff, while ensuring their mental comfort;
3.Improving the standards of cleanliness and disinfection in all airport areas, in close cooperation with all partners; including health and aviation authorities, customs authorities, Border Police, airlines, service providers and traders;
4.Ensure clear, up-to-date and comprehensive communication of health and safety measures for passengers and staff, especially the most vulnerable passengers – passengers with reduced mobility and the elderly;
5.Encourage the widespread use of seamless technology, biometric data and innovative solutions to reduce queues, bottlenecks, congested areas and cross-flows. Improving cooperation with airlines to promote the exchange of passenger information before travel;
6.Encouraging responsible passenger behavior, in particular by encouraging them to assess their own health risk before travel and to avoid traveling if they experience symptoms;
7.Continue climate action to achieve the goal of Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050 at the latest, in line with the objectives of the European Green Pact;
8.Continuing positive contributions among communities and minimizing any negative impacts;
9.Ensuring safe and secure operations throughout the passenger journey to ensure that aviation continues to be the safest and most comfortable travel experience possible for all passengers. Through continuous investment, we ensure that European airports remain world leaders in security and safety.
10.Develop together with industry and institutional partners, a new air transport system to withstand future crises.
10 RECOMMENDATIONS TO NATIONAL AUTHORITIES AND EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS IN THE WAKE OF THE COVID-19 CRISIS
Airports play a critical role in the economic development and the connectivity of their regions and communities. European regions rely on aviation for their connections to the rest of Europe and the world. We are economic enablers; a 10% increase in direct air connectivity generates around 0.5% increase in GDP per capita and vice versa. Air transport supports 12.2 million jobs and €700 billion in European economic activity. That is 3.3% of all employment and 4.1% of all GDP in European countries.
European airports call on national authorities and European institutions to:
- Follow the operational guidelines developed by EASA/ECDC in its COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol, where applicable, and work in a coordinated way at EU level to restore air connectivity within Europe, and with the rest of the world
- Ensure that any additional sanitary measures that may be imposed, over and above those set by EASA/ECDC, should be strictly risk-based, limited in time and re-evaluated under a fixed schedule. It should be noted that European airports are amongst the cleanest and most hygienic mass transportation infrastructure and public spaces in Europe
- Ensure that airports obtain clear advance notice of any changes in sanitary measures that could impact their capacity, and a common recognition that the terminal capacity available as a result of any such measure might limit the traffic which can be handled and the development of air connectivity
- Remove any regulatory obstacles to enabling such things as mobile or home printed boarding passes, electronic or home printed bag tags and personal data capture online. This will minimise passengers use of touchpoints as well as time spent in congested areas
- Put in place a targeted European Aviation Relief Programme to ensure balanced and non-discriminatory supporting measures for all affected aviation industry stakeholders, including airports, airlines, ground handlers, caterers, commercial concessionaires and Air Navigation Service Providers. Investments and costs related to public health measures should be borne by governments
- Ensure that economic regulation reflects fast changing competitive dynamics and that:
- related outcomes effectively protect the interests of passengers in the long term
- airports are financially viable and able to maintain their capacity to invest in digitalisation and decarbonisation
- supervisory authorities provide flexible frameworks that allow airports to support the recovery while continuing to have financeable long-term capital investment plans
- Facilitate the recovery of non-aeronautical revenues – innovative new approaches will be required to re-invigorate these crucial sources of income and keep airports competitive
- Allow for the deferral of investments in the area of aviation security without compromising the current high level of aviation security in Europe and enable innovative solutions through progressive, targeted and risk-based security regulations
- Develop a clear plan to re-build air connectivity and re-invigorate tourism by: – championing effective collaboration with industry at national and European levels
- temporarily subsidising the uptake of routes to quickly restore a basic level of air connectivity
- facilitating further aviation liberalisation (market access) in particular at niche, secondary hubs and regional airports
- avoiding an unnecessary waste of airport capacity by ensuring a swift return to the pool of slots unused as a result of the waiver to the usage rule or in case of airline bankruptcy
- recognising the structural financial viability challenges faced by small regional airports and ensuring necessary targeted public funding for these airports
- ensuring that any measure supporting one actor of the air transport eco-system is not at the expense of another actor
- Prioritise all measures allowing the effective support of a wider use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels, invest significant R&D funding in new aircraft technologies and fully implement the Single European Sky.