As countries across the globe implement temporary measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, IATA has called for global mutual recognition in order to facilitate the safe operation of civil aviation.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on regulators to take urgent action in order to help the civil aviation sector operate seamlessly and safely between states during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to help facilitate the restart of the industry once the virus has been contained.
Specifically, IATA has asked states to take the following immediate steps:
- Work with the aviation industry in finding temporary measures to ensure that licenses and certificates critical to managing aviation safety are extended in order to remain valid
- File their temporary measures with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- Recognise the measures of other states that are filed with ICAO.
Many aviation regulators around the globe have already taken the necessary steps to provide airlines and licensed crew members with the necessary flexibility – such as extensions to the validity periods for licenses, ratings and certificates – so that operational capabilities can continue to be maintained.
However, in order to be effective, these measures must be filed with ICAO so that they can be visible to and recognised by counterpart states. Without mutual recognition, as IATA has called for, airlines are faced with uncertainty over whether or not they might be restricted by the states whose territory they enter.
IATA’s Senior Vice President of Safety and Flight Operations, Gilberto Lopez Meyer, said: “Safety is always the top priority. We, therefore, commend ICAO for their swift action to facilitate the sharing of states’ temporary regulatory extensions, making it easier for states to extend their mutual recognition.”
At present, many of the world’s aviation regulators are not able to perform their standard administration of various licenses as their operations have also been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. In order to not further impede global aviation, ICAO has established the COVID-19 Contingency Related Differences (CCRD) system. This enables all states to record any differences to their standard policies and to make a clear statement that they accept other states’ differences through a new form. This will ensure the safe continuity of flights between countries in a harmonised, documented process.