Airline association Iata has called on governments to quickly implement International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) guidelines on restoring air travel.
ICAO signed off on guidance on resuming flights on June 1.
The ICAO framework document, entitled ‘Takeoff: Guidance for Air Travel through the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis’, proposes a phased approach to restarting flights and a list of measures to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
Physical distancing “to the extent feasible” and “adequate risk-based measures where distancing is not feasible, for example in aircraft cabins”;
Wearing of face masks by passengers and aviation workers;
Routine sanitation and disinfection of all areas with potential for human contact and transmission;
Health screening, which could include pre and post-flight self-declarations, as well as temperature screening and visual observation “conducted by health professionals”;
Contact tracing for passengers and aviation employees, with contact information requested as part of the health self-declaration; and
Covid-19 tests “if and when real-time, rapid and reliable testing becomes available”.
Iata director general Alexandre de Juniac said: “The Takeoff guidance was built with the best expertise of government and industry. Airlines strongly support it. Now we are counting on governments to implement the recommendations quickly.”
De Juniac said: “We must do this with global harmonisation and mutual recognition of efforts to earn the confidence of travellers and air transport workers.”
The Takeoff document was produced by ICAO’s Covid-19 Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) and developed in consultation with the World Health Organisation and aviation industry groups including Iata and Airports Council International.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued broadly similar guidelines on May 21.