Worldwide demand for COVID-19 vaccines results in a significant increase in the volume of vaccines offered for air transport. The purpose of this guidance is to identify the specific areas related to the air transport of vaccines that may require action by the operator and regulator to facilitate their safe transport.
Operators will be able to safely accept, handle and transport vaccines by complying with the requirements of Annexes 6, 18, 19 and the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Doc 9284, Technical Instructions).
Chapter 15 of Annex 6, Part I (applicable Nov 2020) requires operators of aeroplanes transporting items in the cargo compartment to conduct a risk-based assessment. Additionally, the guidance provided is relevant to transport of vaccines on-board any aircraft and may be used as part of an operator risk assessment for this purpose.
Where operators are intending to transport vaccines in the passenger compartment of an aircraft, additional guidance is provided here [link to https://www.icao.int/safety/COVID-19OPS/Pages/Airworthiness.aspx].
The Technical Instructions add prescriptive requirements for operators transporting dangerous goods as cargo.
Guidance to support the operator's risk assessment process in accordance with Annex 6, Part I
The elements of the safety risk assessment set out in Chapter 15 of Annex 6, Part I, have been used as the basis for reviewing the changes proposed to the existing requirements to determine what additional risk mitigations operators may need to implement.
Complying with provisions of the Technical Instructions
Information relevant to the carriage of COVID-19 vaccines including the classification and requirements for markings of the elements in the vaccine package.
Guidance intended to help States and Industry apply aviation security measures while facilitating a smooth flow of vaccines throughout the supply chain and to the final destination.
Links to other organizations reference material