Page 7 - AreaNewsletters "May 2020" issue
P. 7

What Will It Take
To Get Air Moving Again
Information provided by Joy Ross, Travel Journeys
The coronavirus pandemic has brought air travel to a screeching halt around the globe. Government restrictions and stay-at-home orders have stopped passengers from crossing borders or even leaving their homes, sapping demand for  ight bookings. When can we travel again and what will it take to get air travel going after so many di erent aspects of aviation have been put on months-long lockdown? There are countless moving pieces that need to be put in motion by, airlines, and governments around the world to get air travel up and running in a post-coronavirus world.
Fleets need to come out of storage – and airplanes re-certi ed
About half the world’s  eet is grounded due to the Covid-19. Some of those are in long-term storage, with the engines preserved and all fuel and oil removed. When it is time for all those planes to start  ying again, it will take time to get them back into  ying mode.
Every aircraft has to be certi ed and tested for ongoing operations. If you have a number of aircraft parked o  in the desert or in a storage yard somewhere, you might be keeping a portion of those, like 10 percent, checked up on weekly so they can be redeployed pretty quickly. But others, if they are being parked and not run or the engines are not being turned on, it’s going to be a process to reinstate them.
As far as which routes airlines will begin ramping back up as the number of coronavirus cases improve, experts again expect for carriers to focus on domestic routes  rst. People as people will be more reluctant to  y abroad at  rst.
Airline crew and airport workers have to be brought back
It is not just planes that are currently grounded: Thousands of  ight attendants and pilots around the world have either been furloughed or have taken voluntary leave as fewer and fewer routes are operational. Bringing those critical sta ers back into the fold post-outbreak must happen before airlines can restart their  ights.
If you are a pilot and you have not been  ying for 2-3 months, you have to get a certain number of [ ying] hours in. Any pilot whose recency has lapsed due to the outbreak will need to make up time in a  ight simulator before hopping back into an actual cockpit.
Pilots need to have their accreditation rechecked depending on how long they have been o . In places like Sweden and the U.K.,  ight attendants have been asked to become medical assistants in  eld hospitals on the front lines of the pandemic.
Airports will need to adapt to new health measures
To help regain travelers’ trust after the pandemic abates, the air travel industry will need to implement new health regulations, especially in airports. The  rst thing that is probably going to look di erent in airports in particular is health screening. Trying to understand what the rules are for the health screening—that is going to be top of mind for a lot of people to build that trust again. A European airline, for example, might have three neighboring countries with di erent rules on wearing masks in airports, far more di cult for a carrier to follow than one uniform rule around the world.
Large international airports, like New York JFK will probably need to redesign some of their operations for a post-social-distancing world, too. These are very busy, very populous airports, and after this you’re going to  nd that you’re not going to be able to use the same kind of square footage for the same processing of passengers. So, you are going to have to consider airport redesign that adheres to whatever the governments are saying. •
Castle Rock “AreaNewsletters • May 2020

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