Recommended guidelines as commercial flights take to the skies again!
Airline companies have begun operating commercial flights with the easing of travel restrictions in many countries. To ensure passenger's safety, precautionary measures in line with recommendations by international bodies have been implemented. Learn more about these safety guidelines for a safer traveling experience.
As the leading authority on global health issues, WHO has reassured the public that flying remains safe. Proper ventilation recycles up to 50 percent of the air in an aircraft cabin, reducing the transmission risk of communicable disease on an aircraft. As an added measure, WHO has also advised unwell travellers to delay their journey until they have recovered and Individuals with a known active contagious disease should not travel by air. The organisation also supports airlines that choose to deny boarding passengers who appear to be infected.
Airbus Group, the international pioneer in aerospace has always prioritised clean air in their designs. Their aircrafts are in compliance with all Airworthiness Regulations - the standard of the aircraft’s suitability for flights - to provide the highest level of cabin air quality.
A trade association of the world’s airlines, IATA asserts that the universal implementation of global standards will make air travel safe. Their position on containment measures reflects those of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). IATA highlights that the risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard is low, due to the following aircraft cabin features:
- Face-to-face interaction is limited as seats face forward. The backs of seats act as a solid barrier
- High air flow rate from ceiling to floor reduces transmission
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European guiding body on aviation safety, together with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have also released aviation and air travel guidelines for individuals, which include:
- Observing physical distancing at all times
- Wearing a medical face mask throughout the journey
- Practicing frequent hand hygiene
- Reassuring the public that HEPA filters in airplanes make cabin air safe and clean
- Reminding passengers to take responsibility over their own health and safety
The aviation industry has applied a guideline based on the recommendations by The Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART). The Take-Off Guidance outlines recommendations concerning airports, aircraft, crew and cargo, touching on the main points below whenever applicable:
- Adjusting the boarding process
- Determining the seat assignment process, and asking passengers to stay in their seats
- Limiting interaction on board
- Limiting or suspending food & beverage services
- Restricting lavatory access
- Crew protection measures
The guideline also covers disinfection for the flight deck, passenger cabin, cargo, aircraft maintenance and air systems operations.
These recommended guidelines and regulations serve as a springboard for the industry to not just make a comeback, but also offer a more sustainable and safer operations for the future. Air travel has become the premier mode of travel since the advent of the airplane, and it has also become the cornerstone of the hyperconnected world we live in now. With both airline operators and flight passengers complying with the regulations and recommendations, we can all look forward to flying again and hopefully travelling to far away places soon.