Covid-19 Update 1
TUESDAY 17th March 2020
With COVID-19’s spread continuing to have ever-increasing impacts on our daily lives, airports are among the businesses at the front line of the consequences. With travel bans proliferating and people postponing or cancelling travel, passenger numbers are declining rapidly across UK airports.
That is why the AOA has written today to the Prime Minister to urgently request Government steps up measures to support the UK aviation sector as a whole and airports specifically. We have also released our main asks of Government to the media. You can find a copy of the press release here and a copy of the letter to the PM here.
In addition to writing to Government, we are now having twice per week calls with the Business Secretary, along with other trade associations, to discuss the commercial impacts of COVID-19, where we have been reinforcing the points made in our letter and media release today. To better enable us to do so, we have sent a survey to airports asking for detailed impacts so that we can underline our points with a UK-wide data picture.
This sits alongside our detailed engagement with the Department for Transport, both with the Secretary of State, Grant Shapps, and the Aviation Minister, Kelly Tolhurst. In addition to one-to-one meeting with Ministers and officials, the AOA is joining airport in regular conference calls. These focus on the one hand on the operational impacts and how airports should respond to passengers presenting with symptoms and on the other hand, at the AOA’s urging, a weekly call will take place from this week for airport CEOs to discuss commercial impacts with the Aviation Minister.
Lastly, we have been closely liaising with ACI EUROPE, to ensure that we are aligned as a sector across Europe. While we have formally left the EU, EU regulations still apply during the transition period. We took similar positions last week on the 80/20 rule and ACI are amplifying our messages to Government on the UK impacts and actions needed, both with the European Commission and with the UK Government.
We will continue to keep the pressure up on behalf of our members. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact us with any issues you feel need to be covered.