ICAO launches COVID-19 contingency coordination tool and new measures to ensure safe operations

Montréal, 3 April 2020 – ICAO issued a new State letter today drawing the attention of national governments to new measures aimed at ensuring safe operations during COVID-19, and to a contingency coordination website it will establish through 31 March 2021. 


The State letter was issued by ICAO Secertary General, Dr. Fang Liu, and comes as more and more aviation service providers and personnel globally are facing challenges in terms of maintaining the validity of their certifications, licenses, and other types of official operating approvals. 


Many of the related challenges are resulting directly from the social distancing guidelines, current business closures, and other public health measures being taken to mitigate the spread and societal impact of COVID-19. 


“There are approximately 650,000 licensed personnel supporting commercial air transport worldwide. If a fraction of those personnel is affected by the pandemic measures, the potential for the disruption may be significant,” Dr. Liu noted in today’s ICAO State letter. “In order to facilitate safe operations during these difficult times, I encourage States to be flexible in their approaches while at the same time adhering to their obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation.” 


All ICAO Member States were urged in the letter to indicate whether they would be recognizing or accepting the validity of certificates and licenses now being affected by the public health measures being implemented in other States. 


The letter also drew States’ attention to the specific articles to the Convention on International Civil Aviation relating to certificates and licenses, and urged them to record and inform ICAO of any contraventions or ‘differences’ currently arising against these provisions during the current contigency period.


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About ICAO 

A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, amongst many other priorities. The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 193 Member States.  


ICAO COVID-19 online information portal 

COVID-19 Operational Safety Measures public website 

CAPSCA Website COVID-19 area 





William Raillant-Clark 

Communications Officer 


+1 514-954-6705 

+1 514-409-0705 (mobile) 

Twitter: @wraillantclark 

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/raillantclark/


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