IATA outlines layered approach for airline industry re-start

Geneva [Switzerland]: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released details of its proposed temporary layered approach to biosecurity for re-starting passenger flights amid the COVID-19 crisis.

It has published 'Biosecurity for Air Transport: A Roadmap for Restarting Aviation' which outlines IATA's proposal for a layering of temporary biosecurity measures.

The roadmap aims to provide the confidence that governments will need to enable the re-opening of borders to passenger travel and the confidence that travellers will need to return to flying.

"There is no single measure that will reduce risk and enable a safe re-start of flying. But a layering measures that are globally implemented and mutually recognised by governments can achieve the needed outcome," said IATA's Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

"This is the greatest crisis that aviation has ever faced. A layered approach has worked with safety and with security. It is the way forward for biosecurity as well," he said in a statement.

Pre-flight, IATA foresees the need for governments to collect passenger data in advance of travel, including health information, which should be accomplished using well-tested channels like those used for eVisa or electronic travel authorisation programmes.

At the departure airport, IATA foresees several layers of protective measures including, restricted access to the terminal building, temperature screening by trained government staff at entry points, physical distancing, use of face coverings for passengers and masks for staff, efficient boarding and sanitisation of high touch areas.

In-flight, IATA foresees face coverings for all passengers and non-surgical masks for the crew, simplified cabin service and pre-packaged catering, a reduced congregation of passengers in the cabin and frequent deep cleaning of the cabin.

At the arrival airport, IATA foresees temperature screening if required by authorities, automated procedures for customs and border control, accelerated processing and baggage reclaim, health declarations and robust contact tracing.

IATA stressed that these measures should be temporary, regularly reviewed, replaced when more efficient options are identified or removed should they become unnecessary.

It said the mutual recognition of globally agreed measures is critical for the resumption of international travel. IATA is reaching out to governments with the roadmap.

This engagement is in support of the COVID-19 Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) which is tasked with developing the global standards needed for the safe re-start of aviation.

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