Source: ACI LAC

The Airports Council International Latin America and the Caribbean (ACI-LAC), the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have renewed  their call to governments in Latin America and the Caribbean in regards of the need to plan in advance and in a coordinated manner so that commercial aviation can resume once the new mobility restrictions are lifted in the region.

The industry understands that governments’ primary focus is on dealing with the public health crisis. Nevertheless, the sector has been devised and implemented the necessary policies and procedures to allow aviation to safely operate during the pandemic. The recent tightening of travel restrictions has forced airlines into last minute flight cancellations and schedule changes, adversely affecting connectivity and reducing the industry’s contribution to the socio-economic well-being. Going forward it is essential that governments maintain transparent and fluid communication with the industry. The air transport value chain requires detailed advance planning to ensure a safe and sustainable resumption of flights, thus enabling it to provide reliable service to passengers. As part of this, governments are asked to consider workers in the sector as essential and include them in the priority groups to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has called on the governments worldwide to ensure proper implementation of the recently updated CART guidance. The different industry stakeholders have put in place a variety of bio-safety measures with the aim of regaining passenger confidence. Going forward it is essential that governments consider the latest scientific developments in COVID-19 risk management. In this scenario testing will play a critical role in giving governments the confidence to reopen their borders. Studies indicate that antigen testing is a real alternative to PCR testing because it meets requirements such as effectiveness, cost and scalability.

The entire aviation value chain drives the socio-economic development in the region and by working together connectivity that generates millions of jobs can be regained and the well-being of the population restored. The industry provides an essential service to the population and ensures the transportation of vital supplies, including vaccines.