Over the past months the world has had to adjust to a radical drop in air travel - a single day in Europe, in April last year, would have 3000 airborne flights, whereas this April the figure has dropped to 300 airborne flights according to EUROCONTROL statistics.
The road to resuming air travel post COVID-19 is eagerly awaited by many. That being said, concerns as to the safety of air travel under the new normal realities of COVID-19 have been very real. With this in mind, on the 15 April 2020, the European Commission, in cooperation with the President of the European Council, put forward a Joint European Roadmap setting out recommendations on lifting COVID-19 containment measures. A requisite of the roadmap was for EASA and the ECDC to jointly issue detailed technical operational guidance for the aviation sector (the “Guidelines”).
The Guidelines deal not only with safety in the air but ensure health safety throughout the entire travel process, including preparation of passengers prior to arriving at the airport. Preparation of passengers relates to measures on social distancing, wearing of face masks, and hand hygiene amongst others.
These Guidelines ensure clarity for all, whilst safeguarding healthy and safety of passengers, staff and crew. The Guidelines also assist to reaffirm trust in the industry, assuring passengers that the necessary safeguards have been put in place in order to ensure a smooth and safe journey.
The full Operational Guidelines for the management of air passengers and aviation personnel in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic is available.