The aviation industry has faced unprecedented challenges in the midst and wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The advent of vaccines, coupled with an improved understanding of how transmission of the coronavirus (also referred to as 'severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2', or SARS-CoV-2), has facilitated the resumption and scaling up of civil aviation operations across the globe. However, the aviation industry is now facing challenges inherent in resuming operation from a near standstill situation. A significant amount of change has occurred over the course of the pandemic. Indeed, some sites and equipment may have been inactive for extended periods, key staff may have left, workforces may have dwindled in numbers and teams may have been structured differently, skills and knowledge may have faded and security processes may have changed. The threat against civil aviation remains high and may have evolved. States and industry should therefore consider the impact of those changes, and address any associated risks, so that a high level of security is maintained as operations re-escalate.
More specifically, States should consider whether alleviations that have been authorized due to the pandemic should be removed or amended, whether new risks have emerged that need to be mitigated, and how oversight activities might be adjusted as the number of flights increases. Industry entities should be encouraged to make their own individual assessments of how changes within their businesses could impact security.
To assist stakeholders in those aforementioned efforts, this checklist is provided as guidance material, with the goal of providing a useful starting point for industry considerations. It addresses areas pertaining to personnel security, training, equipment, screening processes, and the implementation of a wide range of aviation security measures, as mandated by ICAO Annex 17 – Security and relevant national requirements, to be carried out by all concerned stakeholders (e.g. aircraft operators, airport operators, all-cargo operators).