IATA Outlines Approach To Re-start Industry
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published a Bio-security for Air Transport Roadmap for Restarting Aviation industry amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The road map, according to its Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, Alexande de Juniac, outlined the group’s proposal for a layering of temporary bio-security measures as well as the confidence that travelers will need to return to flying.
He said: “There is no single measure that will reduce risk and enable a safe re-start of flying. But a layering measure that are globally implemented and mutually recognised by governments can achieve the needed outcome.
This is the greatest crisis that aviation has ever faced. A layered approach has worked with safety and with security. It’s the way forward for bio-security as well.
“Concerning pre-flight, IATA foresees the need for governments to collect passenger data in advance of travel, including health information, which should be accomplished using well-tested channels such as those used for eVisa or electronic travel authorisation programs.
“At the departure airport, IATA foresees several layers of protective measures including access to the terminal building, which should be restricted to airport/airline workers and travelers with exceptions being made for those accompanying passengers with disabilities or unaccompanied minors.”
It listed other measures to include temperature screening by trained government staff at entry points to the terminal building, physical distancing through all passenger processes, including queue management and the use of face coverings for passengers and masks for staff in line with local regulations.
He said: “Self-service options for check-in used by passengers as much as possible to reduce contact points and queues. This includes remote check-in (electronic/home printed boarding passes), automated bag drops with home printed bag tags and self-boarding.
“Boarding should be made as efficient as possible with re-designed gate areas, congestion-reducing boarding priorities, and hand luggage limitations.
“Cleaning and sanitisation of high touch areas in line with local regulations. This includes wide availability of hand sanitizer. Face coverings required for all passengers and non-surgical masks for crew. Simplified cabin service and pre-packaged catering to reduce interaction between passengers and crew
“Reduced congregation of passengers in the cabin, for example by prohibiting queues for washrooms; and enhanced and more frequent deep cleaning of the cabin.”
It said these measures should be temporary, regularly reviewed, replaced when more efficient options are identified or removed should they become unnecessary.
Specifically, IATA expressed hope in two areas which could be ‘game-changers’ in facilitating efficient travel until a vaccine is found.
“IATA supports testing when scalable, accurate and fast results are available. IATA would support the development of immunity passports to segregate no-risk travelers, at a time when these are backed by medical science and recognised by governments. IATA reiterated its opposition to social distancing on board aircraft and quarantine measures on arrival.
“The Roadmap is the industry’s high-level thinking on safely re-starting aviation. Timing is critical; governments understand the importance of aviation to the social and economic recovery of their countries and many are planning a phased re-opening of borders in the coming months.
We have a short time to reach agreement on the initial standards to support safely reconnecting the world and to firmly establish that global standards are essential to success. This will change as technology and medical science advances.
The vital element is coordination. If we don’t take these first steps in a harmonised way, we will spend many painful years recovering ground that should not have been lost,” de Juniac said.