Up to date ICAO suggestions assist airline business restart
It is vital that states implement these guidelines, especially as they plan to restart international aviation when the borders can open
- This is important work by states and aviation actors, under the leadership of the ICAO and with the full support of the industry
- One of the most important recommendations from this work is the requirement for the national authorities to ensure that CART delivers results in national decisions
- 89% of IATA respondents believe governments need to standardize vaccination and testing certificates
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the approval of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the latest recommendations from its Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART). The main results include:
- Recommendations for
- Temporary liberalization of cargo flights
- Consideration of the priority vaccination of the flight crew
Increased cooperation between governments in implementing the CART recommendations and guidelines
- Updated or new instructions for
- COVID-19 risk management including vaccination and their interdependencies
Dangerous goods guidelines for the carriage of cargo in passenger aircraft used in cargo operations
A new mechanism for reporting extended regulatory relief
“This is important work by states and aviation actors under the leadership of the ICAO and with the full support of the industry. Of course, these recommendations, guidelines, and tools only make sense if they are applied universally. It is vital that states implement these guidelines, especially as they plan to restart international aviation when the borders can open. As we have said many times before, it was easy to turn off aviation with individual decisions. Restarting and maintaining operations to provide economically and socially important connectivity can only be done if all parties work together. The CART recommendations are the building blocks for this collaboration, ”said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of IATA.
Urgency of implementation
“One of the most important recommendations from this work is the requirement for national authorities to ensure that CART delivers results in national decisions. We all know how important aviation is to the economy. And the harmonized implementation of these guidelines will get people back to work by getting the industry moving again. As the ICAO is tracking implementation, it is also important to track the impact of the latest developments in COVID-19 on the risk management frameworks, especially as we learn more about the effectiveness of vaccines against transmission, ”said de Juniac.
Harmonization of test certificates
The requirements for globally recognized COVID-19 test certificates, including the technological framework for the secure creation of digital versions and the future inclusion of vaccination certificates, have been agreed. These recommendations are now included in the ICAO Handbook on Testing and Cross-Border Risk Management Measures.
From the perspective of preparing for an industry restart, this is one of the key issues of CART. Public opinion is also reflected in a recent survey by IATA in which 89% of respondents believe governments need to standardize vaccination and testing certificates. This is a critical element in maximizing the usefulness of the IATA passport and other technologies being developed to manage digital travel credentials.
Vaccination and travel
CART endorsed two key policy recommendations related to vaccinations that are critical to an efficient restart of international flight:
Prioritizing access to vaccinations for crews: The CART recommendation follows the guidelines of the World Health Organization with a framework of which states should be considered when deciding on priority vaccination groups. Vaccination of the crew will help ensure that enough ready-to-fly crew members are able to maintain critical supply chains, especially those related to the transportation of vaccines and other medical supplies.
Vaccination of travelers: CART has recommended that travelers not be vaccinated for international travel.
Regulators faced the challenge of maintaining a high level of security with sufficient regulatory relief to adapt to the exceptional situation of an industry that has largely been on the floor for a year. With the support of industry, the ICAO has taken the position of replacing existing relief with specific measures. It backs this up with a Targeted Exemptions (TE) system that allows states to publish and access a register of actions taken to maintain the validity of their certificates, licenses, and other permits during the COVID-19 pandemic .