As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic that has wreaked havoc on economies and killed more than 700,000 people, the main bodies representing the global aviation industry are working diligently to convince governments and the flying public that commercial aviation is safe and the national quarantines that have closed borders should be lifted in favour of health checks and tests.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Airports Council International World (ACI World) have all developed various plans and programmes that officials hope will lead to a re-start of international aviation.
- IATA coronavirus resource centre
- ICAO coronavirus resource centre
- Johns Hopkins University Virus Tracking Site
- Air Cargo COVID-19 Action Page
- IATA TACT COVID-19 Operational Impact Portal
- IATA Quick Reference for Ground Handling During COVID-19
- IATA Guidance on the Safe Carriage of Cargo in the Passenger Cabin
- WHO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic
- International Society for Infection Diseases COVID-19 Page
- ICAO CART Take-off Guidance
The ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART) has developed guidelines that were within the past week supported by initiatives for airlines and airports developed by IATA and ACI. IATA has launched a checklist that aims to support airlines that want to implement the ICAO CART guidelines through self-assessments, while ACI has launched its “Airport Health Accreditation programme,” which assesses airports’ health measures and procedures against the CART recommendations. Both initiatives have been officially supported by ICAO.
Developed in cooperation with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the CART recommendations provide recommendations to countries and the industry for the safe re-opening of commercial air services. The recommendations include “Public Health Corridors” (PHC) that call for the implementation of measures to ensure as far as possible the “COVID-19 free” status of crew, aircraft, airport facilities, and passengers.
“A harmonised approach to health is key not only to the recovery of civil aviation but also to ‘building back better,’ which is crucially important to ensuring the future resilience of the aviation network,” said ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano in a statement released on 17 August. “The initiatives launched…by ACI and IATA will be of importance in terms of providing airlines and airports with a platform and momentum for the implementation of the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) recommendations, of which harmonisation and resilience are the guiding principles.”