IATA has welcomed decisions by aviation regulators including those in Europe, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China, the UK and Mexico to provide flexibility to airlines and flight crew during the COVID-19 crisis. 

“In this extraordinarily difficult environment, we are grateful for actions to ease regulatory requirements that do not impact the safety of flights,” said Gilberto Lopez Meyer, IATA Senior Vice President, Safety and Flight Operations.
“Safety is the industry’s top priority,” he said. “The actions taken by these regulators will provide airlines and licensed crew with the necessary flexibility for license extensions without compromising safety. We urge others to quickly follow suit and grant similar short-term relief.”

Examples of actions being taken by regulators:

  • The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published templates which may be used by state regulators to notify EASA of the use of flexibility provisions. This allows for the extension to the validity periods for licenses, ratings, endorsements, certificates and attestations of aircrew, instructors, examiners, aircraft maintenance licence holders and air traffic controllers as well as extension of Airworthiness Review Certificates.
  • The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has published a Decision allowing for flexibility to the validity periods for licenses, ratings and certificates applicable to flight crew and cabin crew.
  • Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has recognised the need for flexibility in the delivery of classroom training and for the completion of recurrent training requirements. They have also granted the ability to extend the validity periods to some elements of training applicable to pilots, engineers, cabin crew and dispatchers.
  • The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has put a process in place to allow an extension to the validity of pilot and cabin crew requirements.
  • In Mexico, the Agencia Federal de Aviacion Civil (AFAC) is extending the validity of permits, licenses and /or certificates for technical personnel for three months.

IATA is also offering help for airlines whose IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) cannot be performed because of COVID-19 travel restrictions that make it impossible for auditors to visit airlines or because of other circumstances related to the current crisis. Extensions of IOSA audits are being offered for periods of up to six months. However, airlines will be required to complete an IOSA safety questionnaire at a minimum of every 60 days during the extension period. The applicable Temporary Revision to the IOSA Program Manual (IPM) and affected registrations on the IOSA Registry at www.iata.org/iosa.

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