Airports Council International (ACI) World has issued guidance on IT practices being implemented by airports around the globe in response to the unprecedented disruption and upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the rapid decline in traffic as a result of widespread travel restrictions and the health and safety implications of the spread of COVID-19, airports are ensuring the safety and health of all airport stakeholders by reducing onsite staff – including IT staff -to essential personnel only. They are adopting emergency HR measures and increasing the use of online collaborative tools and remote working to ensure business continuity.
These new working practices are not without challenges and risks and this Advisory Bulletin – Airport Information Technology recommendations during COVID-19 – provides recommendations to help airports with this transition.
“Airports are being forced to reconsider their normal business and operational processes and this advisory bulletin provides airports with a set of important key actions for addressing IT concerns during this pandemic,” ACI World Director General Angela Gittens said.
“A key aspect for airports, especially with larger numbers of staff accessing IT systems remotely, is the implementation of cyber resilience for business continuity.
“It is imperative for airports to have up-to-date cybersecurity policies and procedures which should be made available and apply to not only the IT and cybersecurity personnel, but the workforce in general.”
Along with cyber security measures, the bulletin provides guidance in building a strong collaborative team, ensuring effective and secure IT infrastructure for remote access and establishing a common information sharing approach. It also covers the deployment of innovative technologies and solutions for autonomous operations.
Airports are currently taking whatever measures are needed to ensure business continuity in the long term and while the bulletin also includes information on shutting-down systems, it also explores how airports will need to plan to bring them back up and restore then to full capacity.
“Airports are currently focused on ensuring business continuity, but they will hopefully soon be considering how to manage the business impact in preparation for recovery and to accelerate growth,” Angela Gittens said.