Published on : Monday, April 6, 2020
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently issued a new State letter seeking national governments to adopt new measures in order to ensure safe operations during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. ICAO has also planned to establish a contingency coordination website till March 31, 2021.
Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary-General, ICAO mentioned in the State letter that there is approximately 650,000 licensed personnel supporting commercial air transport worldwide. He informed through the letter that the potential for the disruption may be significant even if a fraction of those personnel is affected by the pandemic measures. He noted that ICAO encourages States to be flexible in their approaches in order to facilitate safe operations during difficult times. He also urged States to adhere to their obligations under the Convention on International Civil Aviation at the same time.
The State letter comes after more and more aviation service providers and personnel across the globe faced severe challenges in terms of maintaining the validity of their certifications, licenses, and other types of official operating approvals. Many of such constant challenges are resulting directly from the social distancing guidelines, current business closures, and other public health measures being taken to curb the spread and societal impact of the coronavirus disease.
The letter urged all ICAO Member States to indicate whether they would be recognizing or accepting the validity of certificates and licenses now after being affected by the public health measures being implemented in other States.
The letter also drew States’ attention to the specific articles to the Convention on International Civil Aviation relating to certificates and licenses. It requested them to note and inform ICAO of any contraventions or differences arising at present against the provisions during the current contingency period.