As we enter the late stages of a global pandemic, the impacts to our aviation system remain as relevant as ever. Airports continue to overcome challenges posed by COVID-19, and the need to fight climate change and limit the environmental impacts from our national transportation networks have emerged as increasingly vital. A healthy environment and economy not only support our goal to address current disruptions—they also serve to provide resiliency for future challenges.
In light of recent stresses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, airports are pivoting strategies to be able to operate in a changing environment. It is imperative that airports implement practices to contain costs, improve efficiencies, and manage risk to protect the airport in both the short- and long-term. For airports to survive, and to thrive in the future, resiliency must be integrated in every aspect of the aviation industry.
I, along with my fellow industry colleague Gaël Le Bris, C.M., P.E. (WSP), recently developed a white paper titled “Rethinking Airport Resiliency in the Aftermath of COVID-19.” The intent of the paper is to provide recommendations for employing operational and financial resiliency measures for airports to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, and to prepare for the next potential disruption.
This complements a related white paper I contributed to and blogged about before, detailing how airports can maintain environmental sustainability during the current pandemic. While the two topics seem very similar at first glance, this most recent paper discusses measures that can assist airports to improve viability, specifically by maintaining financial and operational health. It also expands beyond the here and now to encompass how our aviation system can employ flexibility to ready itself for what the future may bring. By preparing now, we can help provide stability and longevity within our aviation system.