Calling the combination of crises impacting Japan unprecedented, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said (March 19) that it welcomed the joint statement issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO) on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Maritime Organization (IMO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), on the continued safety of air transport operations in Japan.
These five organizations confirmed that there are no restrictions to normal air transport operations at Japan’s major airports, including both Haneda and Narita, IATA said.
“Safety is our number one priority. If it is not safe, we won’t fly. Today’s joint statement by the five most authoritative United Nations (UN) organizations on air transport, nuclear energy, shipping, health and weather confirms that it is safe to operate in Japan,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
The ICAO statement further confirmed that there are no health reasons that would require the screening of passengers emanating from Japan, IATA said. “Moreover the Organizations confirmed that there is no health risk associated with increased levels of radiation that have been detected at some airports. Although not recommended by the UN organizations, several states are implementing screening programs for passengers and flights from Japan. As these measures are not being coordinated among governments, IATA is tracking developments at www.iata.org/japan-measures.”
“The combination of crises impacting Japan today is unprecedented. But global standards and best practices exist to protect the safety of all concerned. We must follow the joint advice of these authoritative global bodies to provide the best advice to the industry, its employees, travelers and shippers. The situation is evolving quickly and is being constantly monitored. Today the advice is that normal operations are possible. If the advice changes, the industry will comply and transparently keep all informed of the developments,” said Bisignani.
“Effective air links are critically important at this time. Our members are rising to the challenge of bringing relief supplies, equipment and people to Japan as well as connecting families affected by this tragedy,” said Bisignani.