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ACI and ITF reiterate call to governments to prioritise vaccinations for airport workers

31 Mar 2021

The global bodies representing the world's airports and airport workers have renewed calls on governments to prioritise the vaccination of aviation workers in the wake of new guidance from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and their latest call with WHO. Airports Council International (ACI) World and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) recognise the unwavering support from ICAO and WHO on this important cause throughout the pandemic. 

ACI and ITF have contributed to the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART), and both organisations welcome the release of its updated guidance based on World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations that includes new considerations on testing and vaccination which will be instrumental in setting a global standard for recovery.

In December 2020, both ACI World and the ITF had called for airport workers to be prioritised in vaccination campaigns in order to support a global recovery from the pandemic.

Following the publication of the most recent ICAO guidance, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ACI World Director General said: “Resumption of air travel is possible when all stakeholders prioritise safety. The priority for airports has always been to protect the health and welfare of travellers, staff, and the public. Following priority groups (health professionals etc.), vaccination for key workers is a critical next step to ensure we maintain this. Vaccination, coordinated testing regimes and ongoing risk assessment will be fundamental to restoring passengers’ confidence to fly.”

“Aviation remains a key engine, driving the recovery from the pandemic through the movement of essential goods, including, of course, the vaccines, and through the economic and social benefits that are delivered to the communities airports serve,” de Oliveira continued.

Stephen Cotton, ITF General Secretary, supported the new ICAO guidance, saying “We support ICAO’s new guidance, especially advice to governments and the industry on vaccination and testing protocols for aviation workers and passengers, there is no doubt that these standards will be instrumental for the industry’s recovery, and critical for building passenger confidence to return to our skies,”

“Like we have seen in Singapore, we’re calling on governments to prioritise the vaccination, and the health and safety of all aviation workers – from airport security, cleaners to cabin crew and pilots. Governments must recognise these key workers and prioritise them for vaccination,” said Cotton.