ICAO Council adopts restart guidance as airports and airlines implement new hygiene measures

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The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council has adopted recommendations aimed at restarting global air travel in its Take Off guidelines.

Guidance produced by the Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) provides recommendations with modules for airports, aircraft, crew and cargo.

It was developed with advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and aviation industry groups including IATA and Airports Council International.

Recommendations include extra cleaning, protective equipment for staff, temperature screening for passengers and measures to reduce physical contact between people.

Philippe Bertoux, CART chairperson ambassador, said that the guidelines need to be adaptable and can be amended depending on circumstances: “In order to be effective, we need to take a layered and especially a risk-based approach. Measures will be implemented or removed as needed based on the wide ranging medical and other factors which will be at play.”

IATA is urging governments to implement the guidelines so the aviation industry can restart. Director general and CEO at the IATA Alexandre de Juniac said, “We are counting on governments to implement the recommendations quickly, because the world wants to travel again and needs airlines to play a key role in the economic recovery.”

Airlines and airports continue to upgrade hygiene measures to prevent COVID-19 spreading as air travel resumes.

Japan Airlines is putting measures in place including staggering boarding and adding sanitizing stations at airports and in lounges. Counters, equipment and machines will be regularly cleaned and disinfected, and so will aircraft.

Ontario International Airport in California, meanwhile, is preparing for more flights with frequently sanitizing high-touch surfaces and treating security screening trays with antimicrobial technology.

Passengers are being asked to regularly wash their hands and use hand sanitizer provided in the terminal.

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