The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has approved the guidelines to safely restore global air connectivity as devised by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO’s COVID-19 Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) has worked with governments, health experts and industry stakeholders to agree and publish comprehensive recommendations for a layered approach of measures to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission while traveling by air.
The measures of ICAO’s “Takeoff: Guidance for Air Travel through the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis” includes “mitigations needed to reduce public health risk to air passengers and aviation workers while strengthening confidence among the traveling public, the global supply chain including and governments.” Guidelines includes airports, aircraft, crew and cargo.
The airport module contains specific guidance addressing cleaning, disinfecting and hygiene; physical distancing; staff protection; security screening; gate installations, passenger transfer; and disembarking, baggage claim and arrivals areas. Aircraft guidance includes the boarding processes, seat assignment processes, interaction on board, environmental control systems, food and beverage service, lavatory access, crew protection, management of sick passengers or crew members, and the cleaning and disinfection of the flight deck, cabin and cargo compartment.
The “Takeoff” guidance complements WTTC’s recently announced Safe Travels protocols, which were designed to drive the return of safe travel and enable industries, such as tour operators, hotels, hospitality, travel companies, car rentals, MICE, retail and others, to thrive once again.
WTTC, it says, recognizes the ICAO guidelines due to their strictly regulated nature of the aviation sector and airlines, in particular. It adds that it “strongly supports the ‘Takeoff’ guidelines.”
CART’s work was developed through broad-based consultations by ICAO with countries and regional organizations, and with important advice from the World Health Organization and key aviation industry groups including the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI World), the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), and the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA).
To learn more about the guidelines, visit www.icao.int.