Message from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Singapore, by Vinoop Goel, Regional Director, Airports & External Relations (Asia-Pacific):
IATA wishes to keep PATA updated regarding an air transport industry restart plan that we are working with governments and air transport industry stakeholders to identify and mutually agree on biosecurity measures for a coordinated approach to restart air travel. We recognize that air travel will resume domestically first and in a phase and cautious bilateral/multilateral approach for international air travel, depending on the readiness of countries in their respective stages of COVID-19 containment efforts. The restart plan is hence focused on facilitating mutually-agreed biosecurity measures amongst selected key countries first globally, which we hope could then become the reference for other countries to follow to expand the industry restart eventually.
Biosecurity measures/processes are critical components of the industry restart plan as it will allow to control the spread and transmission of COVID-19 which is key to opening nations’ borders, lifting governments’ imposed travel restrictions and restoring passengers’ confidence in air travel.
Attached is a roadmap developed with a set of identified biosecurity measures/processes, that were designed based on a partnership approach among the key participants in the air travel chain, including IATA’s Medical Advisor who is an observer at the WHO. These biosecurity measures and processes have been built to minimize the impact on air travel operations while providing the confidence required by travelers about their health safety.
As for the implementation, IATA will move through two tracks in parallel – ICAO’s CART taskforce and bilateral engagement with governments.
IATA, alongside WHO and ACI, is working with ICAO through a sub-group of its Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) to propose for adoption biosecurity measures/processes for passengers.
IATA is approaching governments of various countries directly to present to them for adoption the same set of IATA biosecurity measures/processes. These leading countries should become the reference for the other countries to move even faster.
These two tracks will ensure that effective and appropriate biosecurity measures/processes are implemented worldwide in a timely manner under the umbrella of international organizations, namely ICAO and WHO, with the support of these leading countries.
IATA will continue working with industry partners to ensure a holistic, comprehensive and collaborative approach is implemented for restart. We will be sharing updates and progress on a regular basis with our member airlines, and welcome feedback from PATA at any point in time. IATA also looks forward to working with PATA on any possible synergies on the restart planning.