Speaking at the 7th Meeting of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Tourism Crisis Committee last week, ICAO Secretary General Dr Fang Liu emphasised that a combination of measures, coordinated between governments and industry, will be essential to the re-establishment of public confidence in air travel.
“I wish to reaffirm ICAO’s commitment to this re-establishment of public confidence in air travel, and to getting the world travelling again,” Dr Liu commented. She added that the UN agency for civil aviation was accelerating the sector’s recovery to bring prosperity and sustainability back to Small Island, Landlocked and the many other countries who rely so fundamentally on the socio-economic dynamics of transport and tourism.
Dr Liu updated the tourism crisis committee on the new Phase II recommendations for air transport pandemic response and recovery, issued in early November by the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force, noting that these recommendations dealt mainly with aspects of general hygiene, masks and face coverings, health screening and declarations, air passengers with reduced mobility and the mental health and well-being of aviation workers and passengers.
She also stressed they included a new recommendation for countries to evaluate the potential of personal passenger COVID-19 testing, as an alternative to quarantines, using ICAO’s new manual on Testing and Cross-border Risk Management Measures: “The manual’s rapid development through our CAPSCA group, which includes the WHO, US and European Centres for Disease Control and others, also benefitted on this occasion from the newest government and industry advice and lessons learned.”
Dr Liu also highlighted that when considering the guidance contained in the updated Take-off Guidelines document, and the ICAO Manual on Testing and Cross-Border Risk Management Measures, countries were strongly encouraged to collaborate with each other regarding the Public Health Corridor (PHC) implementation: “ICAO has issued earlier advisories and resources supporting health corridor establishment, in addition to a new PHC Implementation Package in mid-November and PHCs are now helping countries and operators to realise some important and prudent first steps toward increased travellerconfidence and sectoral recovery.”