The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its sister agency, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), to pave the way for a faster and more effective response to future public health emergencies.
EASA and ECDC worked together during the COVID-19 pandemic to publish the Aviation Health Safety Protocol, which allowed air travel to resume with a reduced risk of transfer of infection under pandemic conditions. The agreement was requested by EASA Member States and the aviation industry to ensure that this effective partnership can be applied in any similar future scenario.
The MoU takes account of the mandate of both agencies and provides the framework for cooperation with the aim of protecting the safety and health of EU citizens traveling by air within the European Union and worldwide. To achieve this, the risks of propagating infection via aviation activities should be mitigated through science-based guidance and advice available to the aviation industry and the general public, while maintaining normal air operations to the extent possible.
EASA sees this MoU as a great step forward in the management of public health emergencies of international concern for Europe. It reinforces the agency’s goal of having a harmonized, systemic and proportionate approach to assessment and mitigation of risks.