The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed decisions taken by aviation regulators to provide flexibility to airlines and flight crew during the COVID-19 crisis.

"Safety is the industry’s top priority. In this extraordinarily difficult environment, we are grateful for actions to ease regulatory requirements that do not impact the safety of flights," said Gilberto Lopez Meyer, IATA’s Senior Vice President, Safety and Flight Operations.

IATA highlighted the examples of regulators the UK Civil Aviation Authority putting in a process to allow an extension to the validity of pilot and cabin crew requirements. It also mentioned Mexico's Agencia Federal de Aviación Civil extending the validity of permits, licenses and/or certificates for technical personnel for three months.

It also mentioned EASA publishing templates which state regulators can use to notify EASA of the use of flexibility provisions. Further examples of flexibility came from the UAE and China.

"The actions taken by these regulators will provide airlines and licensed crew with the necessary flexibility for licence extensions without compromising safety. We urge others to quickly follow suit and grant similar short-term relief," added Lopez Meyer. 

IATA, which represents some 290 airlines, is also offering help. It will offer IOSA audit extensions because of travel restrictions, conditions apply.