Alexandre de Juniac, Iata Director General and CEO.

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has urged governments to implement the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) global guidelines for restoring air connectivity.

The ICAO Council has approved Takeoff: Guidance for Air Travel through the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis, a framework of risk-based temporary measures for air transport operations during the COVID-19 crisis.

Takeoff proposes a phased approach to restarting aviation and identifies a set of generally applicable risk-based measures:

  • Physical distancing to the extent that is feasible, and implementation of ‘adequate risk-based measures where distancing is not feasible, for example in aircraft cabins’.
  • Wearing of face coverings and masks by passengers and aviation workers.
  • Routine sanitation and disinfection of all areas with potential for human contact and transmission.
  • Health screening, which could include pre- and post-flight self-declarations, as well as temperature screening and visual observation.
  • Contact tracing for passengers and aviation employees: updated contact information should be requested as part of the health self-declaration, and interaction between passengers and governments should be made directly though government portals.
  • Passenger health declaration forms, including self-declarations in line with the recommendations of relevant health authorities. Electronic tools should be encouraged to avoid paper.
  • Testing: if and when real-time, rapid and reliable testing becomes available.

“The Takeoff guidance document was built with the best expertise of government and industry. Airlines strongly support it. Now we are counting on governments to implement the recommendations quickly, because the world wants to travel again and needs airlines to play a key role in the economic recovery,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata Director General and CEO.