Preparing Airports to the Post-COVID-19 Era

16 June 2020 Front page
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The COVID-19 Task Force of the Airport Think Tank of ENAC Alumni releases its paper on “Preparing Airports to the Post-COVID-19 Era: Ensuring Immediate Safety and Developing Long-Term Resilience”. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the current impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on airports, discuss the path to short-term recovery, prepare airports to the return of the flying public amid the COVID-19 pandemic, propose principles to safeguard the health safety of both airport workers and passengers, and explore solutions to increase the long-term resilience of aviation to future epidemics and pandemics. Also, this document is an interactive tool featuring several references to relevant resources from international organizations, governmental agencies, and the industry.

Gaël Le Bris, C.M., P.E. (IENAC07), Chair of the Airport Think Tank, explains that “the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has not spared one single member of the broader airport ecosystem. Its impacts are unprecedented due to its importance, duration, and expected length of the recovery. As this paper is being published, many regions of the world are restarting air travel and reopening their borders. The short-term recovery cannot be successful if the immediate safety of the passengers and aviation professionals are not guaranteed, if the aviation community is not ready to reopen, and if policies and practices are not efficient.” 

One of the biggest challenges of the post-COVID-19 era will reside in the capacity of the aviation industry to learn from this event to increase its resilience toward future epidemics and pandemics. Airports need to adapt to the ‘new normal’ but also reinvent themselves to anticipate new COVID-19 outbreaks and future communicable diseases. Lessons learned from the current pandemic can be used for enhancing the way we plan, design, and operate airports. These additional measures and new practices must be risk-based, consistent, and realistic to safeguard the health and safety of the passengers and aviation professionals efficiently.

The Task Force had 22 participants including 8 non-alumni invited to contribute to this initiative. The group was created last month and held 3 online working sessions. This is the first ‘quick response’ task force that a think tank of ENAC Alumni organizes in order to provide timely guidance and recommendations to address such a rapidly evolving situation.


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