The implementation of globally harmonized recommendations developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART) took a step forward this week through the launch of supporting initiatives for airlines and airports by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI).
IATA has launched a health checklist that aims to support airlines who want to implement the ICAO CART guidelines through self-assessments, while ACI has launched its Airport Health Accreditation program, 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 Organization, the CART recommendations provide wide-ranging recommendations to countries and industry stakeholders and are underpinning the coordinated and safe re-opening of commercial air services. The implementation of “Public Health Corridors” (PHC) is particularly salient among these. The PHC concept calls for the implementation of measures to ensure as far as possible the “COVID-19 free” status of crew, aircraft, airport facilities, and passengers.
“A harmonized 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. The initiatives launched this week 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 harmonization and resilience are the guiding principles,” said ICAO Council President Mr. Salvatore Sciacchitano.
“To support the implementation of the CART recommendations and guidance, ICAO is making use of all available resources, through the coordination framework of the Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) and enhanced cooperation with the industry, facilitating implementation of Public Health Corridors to ensure continued flight operations with minimal restrictions, protect the health and safety of crew and passengers and strengthen passenger confidence in air travel. ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation programme and IATA’s checklist aim to support ICAO’s efforts and will provide pragmatic guidance to operators worldwide,” said ICAO Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu.
“Safety is always the number one priority for air transport. And the challenges of COVID-19 have added a new dimension to our efforts. Developed with input from industry, public health authorities and governments, ICAO’s Takeoff guidance is the global standard for safe operations. IATA’s self-assessment checklist is a practical implementation guide to help airlines comply,” said the Director General and CEO of IATA, Mr. Alexandre de Juniac,
“Our new program enables airports to demonstrate to passengers, staff, regulators, and governments that they are prioritizing health and safety in a measurable, established manner while also validating their own measures and processes,” the Director General of ACI World, Mr. Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “Consistency will be the key to a sustained recovery and the ICAO guidelines lay the framework for a globally-coordinated approach which will foster public confidence in aviation.”
The recovery of the international civil aviation sector will be crucial to the broader recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, given the pivotal importance of air connectivity to global sustainable development. As a specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO has provided strategic guidance to its member states throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including in relation to the prevention of the spread of the virus, the operations of critical humanitarian, repatriation, and air cargo flights, and the re-opening of regular air services. All of ICAO’s COVID-19 guidance materials, including the recommendations of the CART, have been made available to everyone at no cost through a dedicated portal on its website.
(Image by ICAO)