In the early hours of
the 24th March our friend, and former Vice President and former Senior Chaplain
at London Luton, the Rev Michael Banfield, passed away. Throughout his life Michael
was a faithful servant of God and has now been called to Glory.
was a member of the IACAC Board and Vice President from 2008 until 2013. He
contributed much to the life of the Association and was instrumental in writing
and setting up access to airport chaplaincy training and development materials
online. He was passionate about airport chaplaincy and worked tirelessly to
promote and encourage new chaplaincies. Wherever he went in the world he
visited the airport either in support of the chaplain or to learn more about it
as a prospective site for a new chaplaincy.
In the night of the 16th of March Fr. Silvano Sirtoli, former Chaplain (2007-2018) of Bergamo Int. Airport (Italy) passed away at the age of 59 frormCovid-19. We entrust him to the Lord asking him to intercede for each of us and for our communities.
We are living in rapidly changing
times and each of us has been called upon to be responsive to these changes
according to the decisions made by the governments and health authorities in
our own countries.
Many of our colleagues have been
unable to continue their ministry within their airports while others are
finding their presence is needed more than ever. Each of us must be conscious
of our responsibilities to ensure that we are not carriers of the infection to
I thought it would be easier to describe the effect the
Covid-19 pandemic is having on the
Italian Civil Aviation Industry. Unfortunately, even among airport employees, we are beginning to count those who have died and those who have fallen
ill due to this
virus, and this deeply touches the souls of us
Looking back, we can now recognize how our pastoral ministry at the airport provided us with insight on the situation, allowing us to predict what would happen in reality. During some recent media interviews, I liked to compare the airport to a beehive, a symbol of industriousness and vitality. When the beekeeper sees that the hive is emptying and the bees are no longer returning, he immediately understands that something serious is happening, or is about to happen.
I guess by now every airport we are working at is affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Some airlines have grounded their entire fleets, numbers of passengers are decreasing all around the world and some airports are shut down completely. This affects the work of each and every airport chaplain, as we are most probably dealing more often with the fears and difficult situation of airport and airline staff.
How are you dealing with this situation at your airport? Please share your experience with other IACAC Members. You can do this by logging into the members section of our website – then click “New” in the top bar and choose “Post” to write a new blog post. Your contribution will be visible only for members.