Airports Council International (ACI) World has urged governments to provide immediate assistance and relief for airports to aid the operational restart.

The measures are also expected to aid long-term industry recovery.

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the global airport industry.

ACI World has estimated that there was a decline of over 4.6 billion passengers, which led to a decrease of $97bn in total airport revenues around the world.

The airport industry is said to be one of the most important aspects of economic growth, employment and wealth creation.

Airports employ around 60% of all aviation sector employments, which accounts to 6.1 million people globally.

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Airports in some regions have started to gradually restart operations and ACI World has stated that this needs to be supported by financial assistance and relief.

ACI World has stated that the implementation of the policy responses will aid the industry during the recovery.

Protection of aeronautical revenues, tax relief and concession fee waiver, comprehensive financial relief and continued support for air cargo operations are expected to help the industry.

It also added that regulators should adopt an evidence-based and data-driven approach to extend the waivers for airport slots for the winter 2020-2021 season.

ACI World director general Angela Gittens said: “With the massive revenue shortfall, airports continue to face high fixed costs and rising costs related to health measures at airports coupled with creeping increases in the cost of capital are new challenges brought on by the pandemic. ACI World believes these costs need to be considered by governments and the impact they have on the airport cost base.

“Airports are keen to support traffic growth but the allocation of airport capacity also requires a balanced approach for all aviation stakeholders. Waivers on slots, or a suspension on the use-it-or lose rule, could potentially limit choice for travellers and weaken competition among airlines as part of industry recovery efforts.

“ACI World urges regulators to follow a data-driven and evidence-based approach to assess whether further blanket slot waivers are the appropriate measure in re-establishing local, regional and global connectivity.”

Last month, ACI World 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.