Getting Back on Track

Paul Bowers

Let it be said that we are a resilient industry, people. Those so-called experts who predicted that the post-pandemic traffic recovery would be measured in years, not months, missed the mark.

Yes, the COVID-19 crisis was tragic. But its impact to our industry is temporary, with the long-term trajectory of passenger growth uninterrupted.

So what have we learned from this recent experience?

1. Aviation continues its unmistakable upward long-term growth.

2. Innovation is born in times of crisis.

3. Models for airport design predicated on social distancing requirements were a waste of time and money.

4. Airports that continued to prepare for growth during the pandemic are being rewarded. The temporary hiatus of passenger traffic afforded teams to complete projects faster and at lower costs. These airports are now better prepared for the resurgent traffic and associated revenue that comes with it.

5. Airports that shelved projects due to a predicted long-term slump are now literally paying for their lack of activity in the form of higher prices, labor shortages and extended completion dates.

Throughout the pandemic, Airport
magazine has highlighted
airports and project teams that prepared for the return of passengers that we are experiencing
today. Fortunately, there was a plethora of them to choose
from. Thank you for sharing your stories.

I also want to thank our advertisers who had the courage and vision to see the path forward for our airports, as well as their own businesses, by investing in our industry.

I’m excited for all of us and welcome what the future will bring.



ACC: Rethinking Airport Resiliency in the Aftermath of COVID-19

Rethinking Airport Resiliency in the Aftermath of COVID-19

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, airports and their stakeholders are managing disruption unlike any previously experienced in the modern world. With an unprecedented decrease in aircraft and passenger traffic, growing economic stress, and further uncertainty ahead, airports require resilient financial and operational planning to ride out COVID-19 and to plan for the post-pandemic future.

Survival for airports requires re-prioritizing previously identified plans, exploring new ways to operate and fund airport operations, and learning from past experiences to improve an airport’s ability to succeed in the future. This guidance provides direction for airport operators and consultants, including planners and emergency management staff, on how airports can enhance resilience to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future disruptions ahead.


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