The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has welcomed the publication of comprehensive guidance material by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in support of coordinated efforts to restart international air travel. Most international flights worldwide have been grounded by border closures, and other travel restrictions, imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The guidelines have been developed by governments and air transport industry stakeholders, working together in close consultation with the World Health Organisation (WHO). Based on a set of agreed principles, the guidance provides a roadmap for governments and the industry to implement harmonised and mutually accepted health safety measures to facilitate international air travel.
The guidance recommends the implementation of a set of layered measures as part of a coordinated framework of public health measures to safeguard the traveling public.
AAPA Director General Mr. Subhas Menon said, “We applaud ICAO’s leadership in developing such comprehensive guidance for States and industry stakeholders in a short period of time. We believe the timely implementation of these measures will allow for a progressive resumption of international air travel, whilst providing passengers and crew with the necessary assurances that all appropriate steps are being taken to safeguard health and safety.”
Mr. Menon added, “The ICAO task force recommendations provide a comprehensive framework to better align national and regional health protection measures with agreed global standards. Asian airlines remain fully committed to working closely with government agencies, airports, and other stakeholders to ensure that air travel remains safe, secure, and convenient.”
Mr. Menon concluded, “We urge governments to move ahead with initiatives to restart international aviation in line with broader recovery plans, by adopting a range of pragmatic and sensible measures that are globally and regionally harmonized, and mutually accepted, as outlined by ICAO. A number of countries in the Asia Pacific region are already taking the lead by engaging in constructive discussions with other governments to restore air links and support the resumption of both business and leisure travel. Trade and tourism are key contributors to economic and social development and will be important elements in supporting wider economic recovery.”