Airports Council International (ACI) World has issued new guidance to assist airports in the resumption of operations and the recovery of business amidst the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Titled ‘Aviation Operations during Covid-19 – Business Restart and Recovery’, the guidance explains best practise examples for the initial phase of business resumption. It also provides the airports with suggestions for longer term recovery processes.

ACI, which is the global trade representative of the world’s airport authorities, said that it has assorted important principles to guide the implementation of ‘practical, efficient, and workable’ health-related and operational measures.

Supported by medical evidence, these measures should be implemented in coordination with the governments and passengers.

ACI World expects the return to business for the aviation industry to come in different phases. It includes an initial restart with a limited number of passengers, then recovery with a slow increase in passenger volume, followed by a gradual scale-up in capacity and then a return to more traditional passenger volumes.

Any new measures that are introduced at airports will need to evolve through these phases until, eventually, the industry will arrive at ‘the new normal’ in terms of the end-to-end passenger journey, it said.

ACI World director general Angela Gittens said: “Covid-19 has been an unprecedented global challenge, particularly to the aviation industry, with the quick spread of the virus resulting in governments rapidly restricting travel and closing borders to limit the spread.

“This has had a drastic and detrimental effect on airports worldwide and a variety of new measures could become a necessity at airports as the industry restarts.”

The pandemic has unleashed a systemic crisis leading to an unprecedented disruption to air transport worldwide.

According to ACI World, the airports will suffer a loss of more than 4.6 billion passengers and a decline in revenue of over $97bn.

Earlier in March, the association released its guidelines for the IT practices to be executed at airports amid the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.