The international conference "Challenges of chaplaincy in the changing aviation world", organised by the International Association of Civil Aviation Chaplains, was held on 20 October 2020. Planned initially in Nairobi (Kenya), the meeting took place in webinar mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Association brings together an ecumenical group of civil aviation chaplains engaged in priestly, pastoral and prophetic ministry to and with people working in airports / aviation and passengers.
At the seminar - attended by 76 delegates from all over the world - they took the floor: Grace Davie, who addressed the challenge of airport chaplaincies in the context of the COVID-19 crisis; Kathy Malcolm Hall, who developed three short sessions on how to deal with the pain and uncertainties associated with the pandemic weather; Charles Everett, Deputy Director, General Manager of JFK Airport, New York, USA, who intervened by sending two video messages; Captain Gilbert Kibe, General Manager of Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Kenya; Augustin de Romanet, President and CEO of Groupe ADP, Paris, France. Each of them dwelt on the challenges facing the sector in this time of crisis, stressing the importance of chaplaincies at airports.
The Dicastery was represented by Mrs. Alessandra Silvi, Official.
During the online conference, reflections were shared on the impact of the crisis due to COVID-19 in areas such as pastoral accompaniment, risk assessment, present and future challenges for both passengers and airport staff.
Geoffrey Thomas, Aviation Editor of Airline Ratings.com and former Editor-in-Chief of the airline magazine Air Transport World, gave an overview of the impact of COVID-19 on the aviation system as a whole and the security measures put in place by companies to protect people.
The shared conclusion was that the pandemic should become an opportunity to rethink what really matters in life.
The next Conference is scheduled for 17-26 October 2021 in Nairobi, Kenya.