KUALA LUMPUR: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published a roadmap, which outlines its proposed temporary layered approach to biosecurity for re-starting passenger flights amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Director-general and chief executive officer Alexandre de Juniac said the roadmap was aimed at providing the confidence needed by governments to enable for the re-opening of borders to passenger travel as well as for travellers to return to flying.

He said there is no single measure that would reduce risks and enable a safe re-start of flying, but layered measures that are globally implemented and mutually recognised by governments could achieve the needed outcome.

“This is the greatest crisis that aviation has ever faced. A layered approach has worked with safety and security. It’s the way forward for biosecurity as well,” he said in a statement today.

The roadmap includes measures during pre-flight, at the departure airport, in-flight, and at the arrival airport.

During pre-flight, IATA foresees the need for governments to collect passenger data in advance of travel, including health information, which should be accomplished using well-tested channels such as those used for eVisa or electronic travel authorisation programs.

At the departure airport, IATA said several layers of protective measures should be implemented such as temperature screening, restriction on access, physical distancing, usage of face mask, self-service options for check-in as well as efficient boarding system.

When in-flight, IATA anticipates several layers of protective measures such as simplified cabin service and pre-packaged catering to reduce interaction between passengers and crew; enhanced and more frequent deep cleaning of the cabin, and reduced congregation of passengers in the cabin.

At the arrival airport, protective measures such as temperature screening, accelerated processing and baggage reclaim, and Health declarations and robust contact tracing should be done.

De Juniac said mutual recognition of globally agreed measures is critical for the resumption of international travel and IATA is reaching out to governments with the roadmap.

This engagement was in support of the Covid-19 Aviation Recovery Task Force of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, which is tasked with developing the global standards needed for the safe re-start of the aviation industry.

“We have a short time to reach agreement on the initial standards to support safely reconnecting the world and to firmly establish that global standards are essential to success. This will change as technology and medical science advances.

“The vital element is coordination. If we don’t take these first steps in a harmonised way, we will spend many painful years recovering ground that should not have been lost,” he added. – Bernama