From the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis, the aviation system has faced ever-growing challenges. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), through the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART), has resolved to partner with its Member States, international and regional organizations, and industry to address these challenges and to provide global guidance for a safe, secure and sustainable restart and recovery of the aviation sector.
This restart and recovery is best supported by an international approach which is based on 10 key principles:
Protect people: harmonized but flexible measures;
Work as one aviation team and show solidarity;
Ensure essential connectivity;
Actively manage safety-, security- and health-related risks;
Make aviation public health measures work with aviation safety and security systems;
Strengthen public confidence;
Distinguish restart from recovery;
Support financial relief strategies to help the aviation industry;
Learn lessons to improve resilience.
Globally- and regionally-harmonized, mutually-accepted measures are essential. Such measures should be compatible with safety and security requirements; proportionate to the improvement of public health; flexible where possible to allow for a viable economic recovery; and safeguarded not to distort markets. Measures that impose costs or burdens on the industry must be carefully considered and justified by safety, public health, and confidence of passengers and crew.
Aviation safety-related measures
States may temporarily depart from ICAO Standards but must do so in a manner that does not compromise safety and security, and which is duly reported to ICAO. These departures should not be retained beyond the crisis.
Aviation public health-related measures
States should establish public health procedures aligned with the guidance included in the annexed document, Take-off: Guidance for Air Travel through the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis. The necessity of these measures should be regularly reviewed. The measures which are no longer relevant should be discontinued when the need for their application has ceased to exist.
Security-and facilitation-related measures
States should enhance cross-sectoral coordination by establishing a National Air Transport Facilitation Committee or equivalent, and systematically use the Passenger Health Locator Form as a reference. It is States` responsibility to maintain security across all operations.
Economic and financial measures
These should be inclusive, targeted, proportionate, transparent, temporary and consistent with ICAO`s policies, while striking an appropriate balance of interests without prejudice to fair competition.
States and the civil aviation industry will need to commit towards building a more resilient air transport system, supported by clear communication and the recognition of aviation`s vital role as a worldwide enabler, more so in times of crisis. In particular, States should identify and bridge gaps, with ICAO`s assistance, to ensure adequate support to vulnerable segments of the international community and provision of essential services. A major element for future preparedness will involve analysing insights and experience gained from this crisis to improve processes and coordination mechanisms.
The success of aviation`s recovery today and future resilience is best achieved with collective efforts among stakeholders across regions and sectors.
Rigorous follow-up to the recommendations and measures outlined in this report will be required at all levels, local, national and international.
The measures will also need to be adjusted to respond to the evolving situation. For that purpose, ICAO, in cooperation with all civil aviation stakeholders, should continue to monitor and assess the situation by seizing the opportunity to reinforce the aviation ecosystem.
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