Global protocols help restart air transport safely

In many regions around the world, borders of countries remain largely closed despite the availability of global protocols to enable the safe restart of aviation. And management of travel restrictions in such countries is so unpredictable and unco-ordinated that people are still not flying.For the global air transport industry, already […]

In many regions around the world, borders of countries remain largely closed despite the availability of global protocols to enable the safe restart of aviation.
And management of travel restrictions in such countries is so unpredictable and unco-ordinated that people are still not flying.
For the global air transport industry, already decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, this is immensely frustrating.
It is also frustrating for travellers who cannot see family and loved ones, do business or take a break. And it is tragic for the growing numbers of unemployed whose livelihoods are being totally destroyed.
Air transport, both passenger and freight, is a key driver of the global economy. Nearly 10% of the world’s GDP is from tourism and much of that depends on air travel.
Obviously, getting people safely flying again will be a powerful boost for the global economy, which needs to grow continually to provide sustenance to billions of people around the world.
Global protocols to enable the safe restart of aviation, dubbed ‘Take-off guidance’, have been developed by governments through the leadership of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) with the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
This guidance covers all aspects of the passenger journey and recommends sanitary measures to keep travellers safe and reduce the risk of importing infection.
The prerequisite to open borders is the ICAO ‘Take-off’ guidance. Additionally, IATA, the global body of airlines, has proposed establishing bilateral travel bubbles (like the one Qatar and India has) to mitigate risks between specific markets and foresees a much wider and strategic use of Covid-19 testing as technology improves accuracy, speed and scalability.
Airlines worldwide have been largely grounded since mid-March. Air travel has fallen on hard times with the number of travellers dropping significantly.
The Covid-19 pandemic caused commercial air travel to come to a standstill for several months, and it is now at only a fraction of 2019 demand!
Financially, 2020 will go down as the worst year in the history of aviation. Globally, airlines are expected to lose $84.3bn this year.  
“Many airlines will not have the financial means to survive an indefinite shutdown that, for many, already exceeds a half-year. In these extraordinary times, governments will need to continue with financial and other relief measures to the greatest extent possible. It’s a solid investment in the recovery because each airline job saved supports 24 in the broader economy. And a functioning airline industry will be a critical enabler for economies to regain their full power,” points out Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO.
No government or a country wants to import Covid-19. Equally, no government should want to see the economic hardships and associated health impacts of mass unemployment.
If government policies focus on enabling a safe re-start, aviation is well-prepared to deliver, insists de Juniac.
Successfully getting through this crisis requires careful risk-management with effective measures. And risk-management is a well-developed discipline that airlines rely on to keep travel safe and secure.

Next Post

SIUE's Jacks Co-Authors The World IT Project: Global Issues in Information Technology

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill., Sept. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Tim Jacks, PhD, has co-authored a new book entitled The World IT Project: Global Issues in Information Technology. Officially released by World Scientific Publishing in May 2020, the book focuses on understanding the key IT issues facing firms within their […]