ICAO has announced the latest recommendations from its Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART).

Key outputs include:

  • Recommendations for
    • Temporary liberalization of cargo flights
    • Considering priority vaccination of air crew
    • Increased cooperation among governments to implement CART recommendations and guidance
  • Updated or new guidance for
    • Testing certificates
    • COVID-19 risk management including vaccination and its interdependencies
    • Dangerous goods guidelines for the carriage of cargo on passenger aircraft used in freighter operations 
  • A new mechanism for reporting extended regulatory alleviations

“These recommendations, guidelines and tools are only meaningful if they are adopted universally,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “It is crucial that states implement this guidance, particularly as they plan for the restart of international aviation when borders open. As we have said many times, it was easy to shut down aviation with individual decisions. Restarting and maintaining operations to deliver economically and socially vital connectivity can only happen if all parties work together. The CART recommendations are the building blocks for that cooperation.”

“One of the most important recommendations from this work is the call for national authorities to ensure that CART delivers results in national decision-making,” de Juniac continued. “We all know how important aviation is to the economy. And the harmonized implementation of these guidelines is what will put people back in jobs by getting the industry moving again. As ICAO tracks implementation, it is also critical to track the impact of latest developments in COVID-19 on risk management frameworks, especially as we learn more about the effectiveness of vaccines against transmission.”

The requirements for globally accepted COVID-19 test certificates including the technology framework for securely creating digital versions and the future incorporation of vaccination certificates were agreed. These recommendations are now included in the ICAO Manual on Testing and Cross-Border Risk Management Measures.  A recent IATA poll reported that 89% of respondents believe that governments must standardize vaccination and testing certificates. It will be a critical element for maximizing the benefit of the IATA Travel Pass and other technologies being developed to manage digital travel credentials.

CART supported two major policy recommendations related to vaccinations that will be critical to an efficient restart of international flying:

  • Prioritizing access to vaccination for aircrews: The CART recommendation follows the guidance provided by the World Health Organization with a framework on what states should take into consideration when deciding vaccination priority groups. Crew vaccination will help enable sufficient “ready-to-fly” aircrew to maintain critical supply chains, especially related to the transportation of vaccines and other medical supplies.
  • Traveler vaccination: CART has recommended that travelers should not be vaccinated for international travel.

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