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What Can States Do?

States can:

  • Provide appropriate guidance and support to aviation medical examiners to manage the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and well-being and resulting fitness-for-duty issues in a consistent manner;

  • Provide clear and timely communications to all stakeholders on the means to maintain licensing and proficiency to enable safe performance of duties;

  • As part of their safety promotion activities, encourage operators to implement peer-support programs and provide guidance related to individual responsibilities for reporting health concerns to AMEs;

  • As part of their surveillance activities, the civil aviation safety inspector should be looking to check that:

      • There is a fitness for duty policy that is followed.  This policy should identify when a flight crew member is considered "not fit for duty" as well as the method for reporting "not fit for duty" and the consequential organisational responses.
      • The policy is consistently understood and applied at all levels of the organisation, crew, supervisory levels, and upper management.
      • The operator's training programs address topics of fitness for duty (including those related to the use of drugs and alcohol, medical conditions, mental health and fatigue), and clearly identify the responsibilities of the individual employee and of management.
      • The operator has and uses a process that encourages the voluntary reporting of hazards, including hazards to HP (e.g.  fatigue-related hazards), that maintains confidentiality as appropriate.
      • There is evidence that the operator monitors voluntary hazard reports and uses the information to ensure mitigations are working as expected as well as to inform its decision making.
      • There is evidence of communication to crew members (individually or generally) of improvements made based on their reporting and suggestions.
      • The operator's return-to-work programme details the specific operational challenges, with adjustments made to the training plan to meet any identified issues.


For further information on HP considerations for regulators, see the Manual on HP for Regulators (Doc 10151).

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