Effective leadership and cooperation among aviation stakeholders is essential to rebuilding the aviation industry from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a forum for industry thought leaders, Hermes Air Transport Organization has facilitated discussion on this topic. Briefs from 14 industry associations were received by Hermes, contributing to a report with recommendations for promoting leadership and collaboration. As Dr. Kostas Iatrou, Director General of Hermes states, “I am pleased that despite the challenges that commercial aviation faces we have the participation of 14 organizations. Now more than ever leadership plays a critical role for the relaunching of the industry. The recommendations will help all industry stakeholders to move forward.”
The industry associations are in strong agreement that leadership can be achieved under ICAO, and collaboration can take place at the regional and international levels. Specific recommendations in the Hermes report are the following:
- Develop ongoing cooperative research initiatives for risk assessment and risk abatement.
- Implement initiatives under leading organizations, most notably ICAO, to develop industry guidelines and protocols to enhance safety and efficiency and boost confidence and morale in the airline industry. These initiatives should include a robust Global Aviation Crisis Management Plan to ensure fast, effective responses to crises, such as global pandemics.
- Build back better. The aviation industry should further the cooperative initiatives developed during the pandemic to implement innovative technologies and procedures, both evolving and disrupting. These will facilitate aviation processes, contribute to safety and security, increase efficiency, and reduce the environmental footprint of the industry.
Professor Martin Dresner, who chaired the Hermes committee responsible for the report, notes that “the pandemic, although devastating to the aviation industry and to society in general, represents an unprecedented opportunity for the industry to move forward. Although faced with many challenges, through cooperation and effective leadership, the industry believes that it can emerge stronger than ever.”