As countries around the world start flying again, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have demanded that aviation regulators and employers fully address health, safety and security concerns before they re-open their borders to air services and take to the skies.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a profound effect on the global aviation industry, virtually grounding all international and national air travel.
In order to ensure crew and passenger safety as flights restart, IFALPA and ITF today release a paper outlining key considerations that need to be addressed for safe return and guidance on what measures need to be implemented on aircraft in order to ensure this happens.
The organisations called for the return to full operations to be led by current public health advice and robust risk assessments, with crew and passengers assured that standards are universal regardless of which airline they are flying on.
IFALPA and ITF called on regulators and employers to address the following key areas:
• The provision of adequate and appropriate personal protective equipment for both passengers and crew
• Safety risk assessments are undertaken by independent experts with worker representation
• Crew members and airport workers are provided access to reliable and efficient Covid-19 testing and contact tracing.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was viewed as the most appropriate authority to independently assess and address this challenge.
Captain Jack Netskar, IFALPA President said: “It is vitally important that all aviation workers are confident that every possible measure has been put in place to ensure their workplace is safe. It’s time to provide the same safeguards in the air that we would expect on the ground.”
Stephen Cotton ITF General Secretary said: “Transport workers have a unique insight into the challenges being faced and we call on regulators and airlines to listen to the workers keeping the world connected, they are the heart and soul of the aviation industry. The safety of our members and that of passengers is paramount, we call on regulators and employers to ensure all measures are taken to ensure that the skies are safe before resuming services.”
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NOTES FOR EDITORS
About the ITF: The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is a democratic global union federation of nearly 700 transport workers trade unions representing around 20 million workers in 150 countries. The ITF works to improve the lives of transport workers globally, encouraging and organising international solidarity among its network of affiliates. The ITF represents the interests of transport workers’ unions in bodies that take decisions affecting jobs, employment conditions and safety in the transport industry.
About the IFALPA: The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations represents more than 100,000 pilots in nearly 100 countries around the globe. The mission of IFALPA is to promote the highest level of aviation safety worldwide and to be the global advocate of the piloting profession, providing representation, services and support to both our members and the aviation industry.