Uche Usim, Abuja
As nations across the world move to partially relax the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council has began preparing airlines and other stakeholders to resume full air transport operations, in its efforts to reconnect the world.
The move, according to the organisation, is in alignment with its global recovery blueprint. The ICAO Council President, Mr. Salvatore Sciacchitano, who made the disclosure in a tweet via ICAO’s verified Twitter handle, @icao, said that the COVID-19 report and guidelines were produced by the Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART). “They were developed through broad-based consultations with countries and regional organisations, and with relevant advice from the World Health Organisation and key aviation industry groups including the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI World), the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), and the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA).
“The world looked to the ICAO Council to provide the high-level guidance which governments and industry needed to begin restarting international air transport and recovering from COVID-19,” Sciacchitano revealed.
According to him, ICAO, with the delivery of the report, has heeded global calls for the restarting of the air transport around the globe.
“With its recommendations and takeoff guidelines which will now align public and private sector actions and mitigations as we get the world flying again, in full accordance with the latest and most prudent medical and traveller health advice available to us”, he added.
Also commenting on the move, CART Chairperson Ambassador Philippe Bertoux, who doubles as the representative of France to the ICAO Council, noted that the CART guidelines were intended to inform, align and progress the national, regional, and industry-specific COVID-19 recovery roadmaps now being implemented, but not to replace them.
“These guidelines will facilitate convergence, mutual recognition and harmonization of aviation COVID-19 related measures across the globe,” he emphasized.