While pilot projects for COVID-19 rapid testing are underway at three major Canadian airports (YYZ, YYC and YVR), the Canadian Airports Council (CAC) says that "rapid tests hold promise for restoring some of the lost passenger traffic."
"The scope [of these pilot projects] is very limited and we do not know when they will be extended," says Daniel-Robert Gooch, president of the CAC.
It is in this context that the CAC - together with the Airports Council International (ACI) - expresses its support for the new orientations of the ICAO for the restart and relaunch of air travel.
A coherent & harmonized global approach
“The updated guidance published by ICAO is an important step in a global approach to establishing standards and practices based on sound science,” says Kevin M. Burke, President and CEO of ICAO. ACI - North America.
According to the ICAO report, restarting and relaunching the aviation sector will indeed require a coherent and harmonized approach with clear industry standards and best practices.
Since the vast majority of international arrivals to Canada are subject to a 14-day quarantine, the need for consistent testing nationally and in harmony with the rest of the world is particularly critical for the Canadian airline industry.
Strengthening international harmonization is a goal in which the US FAA, Transport Canada, ICAO and industry stakeholders actively work together, recognizes (and endorses) ACI-NA.
The best practices are here to stay
The CAC and ACI recall that North American airports reacted quickly to COVID-19 by establishing improved health protocols .
In addition to much more frequent cleaning, the emphasis is on:
- reducing “points of contact” in public areas and toilets;
- improving ventilation and air filtration systems;
- the increased availability of hand sanitizers in many airport areas for passengers and employees;
- awareness of the need to ensure physical distancing;
- encouraging or requiring the use of a fabric face covering;
- additional education and training provided to airport employees and contractors.
“Much of these practices will remain in effect for the foreseeable future,” the CAC and ACI concluded.
It should be noted that the intervention of the CAC and the ACI-NA is in line with that of oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance.
The three global air carrier alliances want governments to quickly adopt a "harmonized screening approach" (a standardized digital health passport and passenger screening protocols for COVID-19) " as recommended by ICAO guidelines ".