Australia’s aviation industry has begun working together to develop nationally-consistent policies for safe air travel, anticipating the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
A Coalition comprising the Australian Airports Association (AAA) and Airlines for Australia & New Zealand (A4ANZ), as well as representatives of airports and airlines, has convened to determine protocol for the resumption of domestic travel in a pandemic and post-pandemic environment.
The Australian Aviation Recovery Coalition held its inaugural meeting on 14 May 2020.
AAA’s Acting CEO, Simon Bourke, said the aviation industry was one of the first and hardest hit as a result of unprecedented but necessary travel restrictions.
‘As these restrictions are eased in line with the Government’s 3 step framework, the safe resumption of domestic travel is a goal shared by all in the travel and tourism sectors,” Mr Bourke said.
A4ANZ CEO, Dr Alison Roberts, said that the Australian Aviation Recovery Coalition was committed to utilising evidence and expert advice to minimise risk at each stage of a passenger’s journey, in ways that are practical, efficient and scalable as passenger volumes increase.
“We know that the measures we put in place will be critical to rebuilding consumer confidence in air travel and we are working constructively with Government to ensure a consistent approach,” Dr Roberts said.
The proposed protocols will not only affect travellers. Mr Bourke stated that enabling aviation will be a key part of driving Australia’s economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is essential.
“In Australia, aviation contributes $104 billion to Australia’s economy and supports 716,000 jobs. We share the Government’s desire for as many people as possible to have jobs on the other side of this crisis,” he said.
“Our sector plays a vital role in providing Australians access to essential social, medical, business, financial and educational services, as well as moving important freight including life-saving medicines; and in encouraging growth in tourism and business,” Dr Roberts said.
“We are grateful to the Government for its commitment to Australia’s aviation industry and the recognition that as a nation we are more dependent on aviation than most countries around the world. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Government as restrictions are eased, ensuring Australians can travel safely and with confidence.”