AviationPilot fast lane for VIP arrivals may open the gates to other countries

Changi's fast lane for business will be a testing experience

By
|
Those using the Changi airport arrivals fast lane will be Covid-19 tested.
Those using the Changi airport arrivals fast lane will be Covid-19 tested.
SINGAPORE - Singapore is trialling a 'fast lane' for business travellers which will enable them to avoid a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival.

Airports are clearly expressing that the measures used during the restart will not be sustainable for the longer term. It is imperative for public health authorities, civil aviation authorities and airports to continue partnering to update and adapt health screening measures based on changing data and medical evidence as travel picks up,– Stefano Baronci, director general, Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific

The arrangement initially applies to travel for business and official government purposes between Singapore and the Chinese provinces or municipalities of Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

The Singapore government said several safeguards would be put in place, including  Covid-19 tests for passengers prior to, and on arrival. Passengers must also carry recognised health certificates.

Travellers must remain in isolation at their own expense for 1-2 days until the test result is known – and if the test comes back as positive, they will be hospitalised – again at their own expense.

If the pilot is successful, the Singapore government will look at extending the fast lane offer to other countries deemed low-risk.

However, as Changi is still closed to transit passengers, the fast lane will only be available for travellers intending to stay in Singpaore.

Stefano Baronci, director general, Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific, has called for close cooperation between public health authorities, civil aviation authorities and airports to help build passengers’ confidence to travel.

He said many of the airports consulted by ACI were of the view that short-term measures could have a negative impact on the airport’s passenger handling capacity as the industry continues its recovery.

“Airports are clearly expressing that the measures used during the restart will not be sustainable for the longer term. It is imperative for public health authorities, civil aviation authorities and airports to continue partnering to update and adapt health screening measures based on changing data and medical evidence as travel picks up,” added Mr Baronci.  
Governments and regulators continue to evaluate opportunities to establish travel corridors within their sub-regions to facilitate necessary travels and resume business activities.

“ACI Asia-Pacific sees this as a step in the right direction that will allow airports to show the flying public it is taking a responsible approach to opening up,” Baronci said.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI