Aviation: IATA stipulates conditions for testing by Airlines

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has listed the criteria for the use of COVID-19 testing in air travel process.

According to a release by IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, on Friday 14th June, 2020 and reported by thisdaylive.co. which stated that if governments decide to adopt the COVID-19 testing for travelers coming in from countries considered as high risk, testing results must be made fast , be able to be conducted at scale, and operate to very high rates of accuracy. It also added that testing must be cost-effective and not create an economic or logistical barrier to travel.

IATA said the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) published Take-off guidance, which is the global guidance for governments to follow in reconnecting their people and economies by air. Take-off outlined layers of measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission during air travel and the risk of importation of COVID-19 via air travel. COVID-19 testing should not be a necessary condition for re-opening borders or resuming air services.

Another useful layer of protection for travellers from high risk countries was the technology for rapid point-of-care Polymerised Chain Reaction (PCR) testing which potentially removes the need for more stringer and stricter measures such as quarantine which is a major barrier to travel and the recovery of demand.

“Airlines are committed to reducing the risks of COVID-19 transmission via air travel and COVID-19 testing could play an important role. But it must be implemented in line with ICAO’s global re-start guidance with the aim of facilitating travel.

“Speed, scale and accuracy are the most critical performance criteria for testing to be effectively incorporated into the travel process,” Alexandre de Juniac concluded.

Recall that there have been global fear of possible second wave of the corona pandemic had swept across the world especially in Europe sending many airlines into fear of opening their corridors without safety precautions which may aid another spread.

By Francis Ogwo

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