Aviation trade groups create roadmap for flying restart

Aviation trade groups create roadmap for flying restart
Photo Credit: Denis Belitsky/Shutterstock.com

Trade groups IATA and Airports Council International have unveiled what they are calling a roadmap of temporary health safety measures for the restart of mass air transport. 

“The roadmap aims to provide the confidence that governments will need to enable the reopening of borders to passenger travel and the confidence that travelers will need to return to flying,” IATA said. 

The groups emphasized that collaboration across the industry, including between governments, will be key. 

The roadmap covers the entire travel journey. Ahead of flights, the groups advocate the collection of more robust passenger information than in the past, including health information, which can be used for tracing purposes. 

At departure airports, the groups called for a prohibition, even in landside areas, of anyone who isn’t traveling or working, with the exception of people accompanying minors or disabled passengers.

Temperature screenings should be conducted at entry by government agencies. Face coverings should be required. Social distancing should be maintained. Self-service check-in options should be made as robust as possible, including remote check-in. Boarding should be made as efficient as possible via carry-on baggage limitations and reconfiguration of gate areas. Hand sanitizers should be widely available. And cleaning protocols should be robust.

In-flight, the groups called for uniform mask requirements for passengers and crew. Cabin service should be simplified, including pre-packaged catering only. Lavatory lines should be prohibited. Cleaning should be enhanced. 

At arrivals airports, the groups called for increased use of automation by customs and border patrol authorities, include mobile applications and biometrics. Baggage claim needs to be speedy to reduce congestion. And the groups called for governments and airports to eliminate rescreenings for transferring passengers where possible. 

The groups said that they don’t support Covid-19 testing pre-flight until it becomes more reliable. Similarly, they did not endorse immunity passports but said they would if evidence becomes clearer that individuals who have had the virus obtain immunity.


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