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Get them filled again... airlines and now airports want a shift in safety approach to win back passengers. Image Credit: Pixabay

Dubai: A global grouping of airport operators have joined airlines in calling for an alternative to quarantine measures for passengers, and thus, hopefully, speed up recovery of air travel. Instead, rigorous pre-testing of passengers ahead of the flights would be the better choice.

"A systematic approach to COVID-19 testing will provide an effective way to give governments the confidence to re-open borders without quarantine," the Airports Council International (ACI) World and International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a joint call for a globally-consistent approach to testing.

The shut down of air transport as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions has led to nearly 4.8 million industry jobs being lost or coming under dire threat. “Airports and airlines are united in the view that a consistent approach to testing passengers will help to restore the confidence of passengers, avoid border closures, and remove cumbersome quarantine measures which are hampering the genuine efforts of the aviation industry to recover,” ACI World Director-General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said.

“This will better foster recovery among airports, airlines and the travel and tourism sectors, thereby protecting jobs and providing the economic and social benefits that aviation delivers to the local, national, and global communities it serves.”

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Checks are in place

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

IATA’s Director-General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said: “Systematic testing is the key to restoring connectivity. That’s critical because millions of jobs depend aviation. And millions more travelers 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. 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."