The implementation of globally harmonized recommendations developed by the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART) took a step forward through the launch of supporting initiatives for airlines and airports by IATA and ACI, respectively.

IATA has launched a checklist that aims to support airlines who want to implement the ICAO CART guidelines through self-assessments, while ACI has launched its “Airport Health Accreditation programme,” which assesses airports’ health measures and procedures against the CART recommendations. Both initiatives have been officially supported by ICAO.

Developed in cooperation with the WHO, the CART recommendations provide wide-ranging recommendations to States and industry stakeholders and are underpinning the coordinated and safe re-opening of commercial air services. The implementation of “Public Health Corridors” (PHC) is particularly salient among these. The PHC concept calls for the implementation of measures to ensure as far as possible the “COVID-19 free” status of crew, aircraft, airport facilities, and passengers.

“To support the implementation of the CART recommendations and guidance, ICAO is making use of all available resources, through the coordination framework of the Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) and enhanced cooperation with the industry, facilitating implementation of Public Health Corridors to ensure continued flight operations with minimal restrictions, protect the health and safety of crew and passengers and strengthen passenger confidence in air travel. ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation programme and IATA’s checklist aim to support ICAO’s efforts and will provide pragmatic guidance to operators worldwide,” said ICAO Secretary General, Dr. Fang Liu.

“Our new programme enables airports to demonstrate to passengers, staff, regulators, and governments that they are prioritizing health and safety in a measurable, established manner while also validating their own measures and processes,” the Director General of ACI World, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, said. “Consistency will be the key to a sustained recovery and the ICAO guidelines lay the framework for a globally-coordinated approach which will foster public confidence in aviation.”

The recovery of the international civil aviation sector will be crucial to the broader recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, given the pivotal importance of air connectivity to global sustainable development. As a specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO has provided strategic guidance to its member States throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including in relation to the prevention of the spread of the virus, the operations of critical humanitarian, repatriation, and air cargo flights, and the re-opening of regular air services. All of ICAO’s COVID-19 guidance materials, including the recommendations of the CART, have been made available to everyone at no cost through a dedicated portal on its website.