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The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will today launch its
independent and voluntary assurance scheme of the measures that UK airlines and
airports have put in place to provide COVID-security for passengers.
This development follows the Government’s Global Travel
Taskforce’s report, which recommended a system of assurance of air travel to
evidence the industry’s compliance with international
guidance provided by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This
guidance closely aligns with the UK government’s own aviation COVID-19 guidance
for air passengers and for operators, which was published earlier this year.
The assurance scheme will be led by the CAA and will be
conducted by a team consisting of a CAA inspector and medical professional, as
well as a Public Health expert. Together, this team will assess whether the
measures taken by airlines and airports meet the requirements set out in the UK
and ICAO guidance.
Over the summer, the CAA worked with British Airways, London
Heathrow Airport, and East Midlands Airport to support the development of the
ICAO guidance and to pilot the assurance scheme.
The CAA and public health assessment will look at compliance
with guidance on general hygiene, masks and face coverings, health screening
and declarations, the mental health and well-being of employees and passengers,
as well as specific steps for passengers with reduced mobility.
Ben Alcott, International Director at the Civil Aviation
“UK airlines and airports have already put in place
significant measures to protect passengers during the pandemic. This new
assurance scheme will recognise the efforts of the industry, as well as play a critical
role in developing an international approach to COVID-security in aviation. It
should also give consumers greater confidence that the right steps have been
taken to make their flights and holidays COVID safe.
“I would like to thank British Airways, Heathrow Airport
and East Midlands Airport for all their support in developing and testing the
scheme and look forward to working with other airlines and airports as we roll
the scheme out.”
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