The EUR/NAT DGCA/2021-1 meeting was held via Webex on 24 February 2021 with the main objectives to discuss the issues pertaining to the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines by air and share experience and lessons learnt. The meeting was attended by 86 participants from 26 States and 4 international and regional organisations.
The meeting was chaired by the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Portugal, Mr. Luis Ribeiro, who underlined the importance and timeliness of this meeting to support the global efforts on transportation of vaccines. The ICAO Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu, highlighted that, in order to cope with the demand for global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, adapting infrastructure, processes and resources will be critical to be able to respond effectively to the huge global logistical challenges. Governments, supply chain partners, humanitarian organizations and pharmaceutical manufacturers must prepare themselves collaboratively for a widespread global coordinated response to distribute vaccines to where they are needed in a timely, safe and secure manner. All countries and territories will be impacted, either as a receiver or supplier of vaccines.
The ICAO EUR/NAT Acting Regional Director, Captain Denis Guindon, emphasized that proper coordination and collaboration amongst all involved entities, governments and industry stakeholders, are crucial to ensure that processes are in place for the transportation of vaccines by air and other modes of transport allowing an efficient and seamless transportation and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines from the production site to the receiver.
The meeting participants benefited from ICAO's presentations on a number of topics pertaining to transportation of vaccines, namely, the economic aspects including the 7th freedom of traffic, digitalization of supply chain, operational safety, security and facilitation aspects, airspace and aeronautical publications related issues and mutual recognition of vaccine certificates.
In the second part of the meeting, participants noted with great interest and discussed presentations by the Ministry of Health and Civil Aviation Authority of Israel, sharing their experience on the organization of vaccine transportation. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Netherlands and the Dutch national carrier, KLM, presented their experiences and lessons learnt from the ongoing transportation operations. EASA Director for Strategy and Safety Management, Mr. Luc Tytgat, presented the actions undertaken by EASA to support States and industry. The United States FAA provided information on their adopted organizational and regulatory processes. Finally, IATA presented the needs of aircraft operators and guidelines developed to support them as well as lessons learnt so far.
More information ICAO EUR/NAT webpage via link COVID-19 Vaccine Deliveries