ICAO issues new calls on COVID-19 response coordination

Montréal, 14 February 2020 – The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has conveyed new advice to its Member States urging them to review and implement applicable civil aviation standards and recommended practices relevant to communicable disease response.


It also reminded national governments of the publicly and globally accessible COVID-19 online travel and health advisories which have been issued relevant to the outbreak by ICAO, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and other aviation and international organizations.

In its most recent State letter, the UN aviation agency urges States to implement relevant

provisions of Annex 9–Facilitation to the Chicago Convention, to act on formalizing their membership in ICAO’s Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA), to effectively establish a National Air Transport Facilitation Committee, and to clarify the roles and responsibilities of public health and civil aviation authorities during outbreaks, in order to support the continuous, safe, and orderly operation of global air services.


“We’re urging ICAO’s Member States to collaborate and coordinate on their national and regional preparedness and responses, and also to consider providing financial or in-kind support to the CAPSCA programme, including through the secondment of personnel, so that it can enhance its effectiveness in these scenarios,” commented ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu. “Increased financing is critical to the sustainability of this key global health and travel coordination mechanism relevant to contagious outbreaks.”


“The COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on airports’ operations globally, underpin the important role of public health authorities at air borders, and the need for an effective national policy framework on air transport facilitation to establish clear roles and responsibilities of the various ministries, agencies and organizations involved with or responsible for air transport facilitation,” Dr. Liu said.


The ICAO State letter also called on its member States to strengthen their preparedness plans for managing risks relating to communicable disease outbreaks by implementing effective collaboration and coordination strategies with all stakeholders, drew government attention to the training offered by the WHO and the ICAO CAPSCA facility, and underscored ICAO’s support for the WHO’s call for international solidarity in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.


In order to collect States’ information on the implementation of ICAO standards and provisions on topics such as their compliance with international health regulations of the WHO, and the maturity of their national planning relevant to communicable disease outbreaks posing a public health risk or public health emergency of international concern, ICAO will also be establishing an online survey to assess current levels of global preparedness by States.
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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.


CAPSCA Website COVID-19 area
ICAO Facilitation website


Anthony Philbin
Chief, Communications
+1 514-954-8220
+1 438-402-8886 (mobile)
Twitter: @ICAO

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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