Airports Council International (ACI) and Iata issued a joint call yesterday for a globally consistent approach to testing international passengers.

The aviation industry has worked with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (Icao) Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART) – which includes the World Health Organization – to agree and implement a layered approach to health measures that will enable safe operations amid the COVID-19 crisis.

ACI and Iata emphasise that a systematic approach to testing must be the key focus. Both associations call for an internationally agreed and recognised approach to testing passengers during the travel process that is fast, practical, accurate, low-cost, easy-to-use and supported by public health authorities.

Iata DG and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said borders must be reopened without quarantine.

“Systematic testing is the key to restoring connectivity,” said De Juniac. “That’s critical because millions of jobs depend aviation. And millions more travellers want and need to reconnect with family, take a hard-earned vacation or support their international business needs. We must learn to live with this disease and that includes safely restoring the freedom to travel. Already we have measures in place to ensure safe journeys through ICAO’s CART recommendations. And trials around the world are helping us to demonstrate that we have effective testing technology that can be efficiently integrated into the travel process. We count on ICAO’s leadership to bring governments into agreement on an implementation plan so that aviation can reconnect people and economies. We need to do this with speed. Each day of delay puts more jobs at risk.”