ICAO’s support to aviation’s recovery efforts following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic – Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce

Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce

During its 219th Session, the Council decided to establish the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) to identify and recommend strategic priorities and policies with the aim of supporting States and industry to cope with the challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the immediate, near and longer term.

The Council, at its 220th Session, adopted a report of CART and its annexed guidance document Take-off: Guidance for Air Travel through the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis (TOGD), which aim at restarting the international air transport system and aligning its global recovery. The CART’s report contains ten key principles for a safe, secure and sustainable recovery, and eleven recommendations focused around objectives for public health, aviation safety and security, and aviation economic recovery. The Report was developed through broad-based consultations with States and regional and international organizations, including the World Health Organization and the United Nations World Tourism Organization, and key aviation industry groups. The report is accompanied by a series of guidelines contained in the TOGD for public health risk mitigation measures presented in four separate modules relating to airports, aircraft, crew, and air cargo.

In support of States’ implementation of the recommendations and guidance contained in the CART report and the TOGD, the Secretariat has developed a Global Implementation Roadmap (GIR) in July 2020. The GIR identifies a series of ICAO’s priority activities and initiatives aiming at supporting, coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the CART recommendations and guidance by States and industry. Subsequently, the Council, at its 221st Session, adopted a new High-Level Cover Document (HLCD) of the Phase II of CART with a Second Edition of the TOGD, introducing an additional three recommendations and guidance in light of latest developments of the COVID-19 crisis.

The HLCD includes three additional recommendations related to aviation safety-related measures, testing and cross-border risk management measures, and the formation of Public Health Corridors (PHCs). The Second Edition of the TOGD focuses on risk management (including testing) and PHC implementation, addressing, inter alia, general hygiene, face coverings and medical masks, health screening and declarations, air passengers with reduced mobility, as well as mental health and well-being. In addition to updating the existing modules on airport, aircraft, crew and cargo, the TOGD includes new references to risk mitigation measures applicable to aviation sectors other than commercial air transport, such as business and general aviation.

New guidance material, Manual on Testing and Cross-border Risk Management Measures (Doc 10152), supplements the recommendations contained in the CART HLCD and guidelines outlined in the Second Edition of the TOGD.

Implementation of the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) recommendations was supported by webinars, as was the launch of the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Implementation Centre (CRRIC). High-level virtual meetings with the Directors General of Civil Aviation of all world regions provided powerful outreach platforms to promote awareness of the CART and the significance of the implementation of its recommendations.

To increase reporting levels, workshops were scheduled to provide additional guidance for State focal points to input data and information into the CRRIC, as well as to discuss any challenges faced using the online tool.

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