On Wednesday, July 22, airport administrators and Brazilian and American authorities participated in the “Virtual Meeting – Impacts of Covid-19 on Airports and Recovery Measures”, within the Brazil-United States Aviation Partnership program.
For three hours, 40 representatives from the two countries exchanged experiences on what has been done so far and what are the prospects for resuming flights and changes.
“The general view is one of optimism, Brazilians and Americans understand that the changes are underway, but everyone is working to provide security to workers and to awaken passengers who need to travel with the confidence that it is safe,” said Ricardo Aparecido Miguel, president of Abesata (Brazilian Association of Auxiliary Air Transport Service Companies).
The resumption follows a slow but gradual pace, with expectations of recovery of 80% of domestic flights by the end of the year in Brazil. For the resumption of international flights, the hope is 2022.
American specialists presented several technologies to make the journey of the passenger, from the moment he arrives at the airport until the arrival at the destination, increasingly touchless (without contact). In other words, they are avoiding contact with airport workers as much as possible.
Another highlight highlighted by Michael Steinle, a public health specialist, was regarding the adoption of educational programs for passengers and workers. It would reinforce the need for wearing a mask, social distance, hand washing, and, in particular, not going to the airport if you have symptoms that may indicate COVID-19 infection.
“Many investments are being made in disinfecting environments and surfaces, but the greatest risk of contagion is between people, so education is essential for changing habits,” added the president of Abesata.
Optimism, however, was more on top of domestic flights, mainly due to the restriction of foreigners’ entry until the end of July, determined by an ordinance of the Brazilian Government and ANVISA. “As long as the ordinance exists, airlines will have difficulties in planning the return of international flights,” said Robson Bertolossi, president of Jurcaib, an entity that represents foreign companies. Paulo Henrique Poças, from ANAC, reinforced that the restrictive ordinance today does not make sense anymore and should be changed soon.
The event was organized by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) on behalf of USTDA, the United States Agency for Trade and Development.