(QCOSTARICA) Two of the most important international aviation organizations suggested that governments stick to seven far-reaching measures to revive the sector after the severe impact of the coronavirus COVID-19.
The protocols for flights in these times of coronavirus are established in the document entitled “Providing a safe and sanitary operating environment for passengers and crew” by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on June 1st.
This entity is the specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) to exercise the administration and application of the air regulations contemplated in the Convention on International Civil Aviation.
All 196 member states, including Costa Rica, employ expert-recommended standards and methods to ensure that civil aviation operations and standards in each member country conform to global regulations.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which groups international airlines and countries, urged governments to implement the global guidelines issued by ICAO.
The goal is for passengers to not have physical contact with each other. Among the recommendations is the elimination of carryon, passengers would only be allowed a backpack or bag that fits under the seat in front of the passenger.
The reason for this is due to the fact that both when boarding or getting off the aircraft, the placement and removal of carry-on bags causes numerous reasons for contact between people.
These measures include:
- Physical distancing to the extent feasible and implementation of “adequate risk-based measures where distancing is not feasible, for example in aircraft cabins”;
- Wearing of face coverings and 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: updated contact information should be requested as part of the health self-declaration, and interaction between passengers and governments should be made directly though government portals;
- Passenger health declaration forms, including self-declarations in line with the recommendations of relevant health authorities. Electronic tools should be encouraged to avoid paper;
- Testing: if and when real-time, rapid and reliable testing becomes available.
“This layering of measures should give travelers and crew the confidence they need to fly again. And we are committed to working with our partners to continuously improve these measures as medical science, technology and the pandemic evolve,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA CEO.
“The leadership of ICAO and the commitment of our fellow CART members have combined to quickly lay the foundation for a safe restoration of air transport amid the COVID-19 crisis. We salute the unity of purpose that guided aviation’s stakeholders to a solid conclusion.
“Moreover, we fully support CART’s findings and look forward to working with governments for a well-coordinated systematic implementation that will enable flights to resume, borders to open and quarantine measures to be lifted,” said de Juniac.
“Now we are counting on governments to implement the recommendations quickly because the world wants to travel again and needs airlines to play a key role in economic recovery. And we must do this with global harmonization and mutual recognition of efforts to gain the trust of air transport travelers and workers,” added the IATA CEO.
“ICAO Member States are urged to implement mutually accepted global and regional harmonized measures that do not create undue financial burdens or compromise the safety of civil aviation,” the report published on June 1 said.
Regarding the immunity passport against COVID-19, the most recent report points out that it could become a transcendental tool to make boarding procedures more flexible on international flights.