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Turkey’s Istanbul Airport is the world’s first airport to be accredited through the Global Standards for Health and Safety Amid COVID-19

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released a new health checklist to help airlines self-assess their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IATA Health Safety Checklist for Airline Operators outlines the latest standards and recommended practices in addition to guidance material and other helpful information to support the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Take-off: Guidance for Air Travel through the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis.

Sections include pre-arrival notification; check-in; embarkation and disembarkation; aircraft cleaning; onboard air quality; in-flight operations; flight and cabin crew; crew layover and airport facilities.

IATA has made the comprehensive checklist available to airlines for free on its website

“Safety is always the number one priority for air transport. And the challenges of COVID-19 have added a new dimension to our efforts,” said IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac in a statement. “Developed with input from industry, public health authorities and governments, ICAO’s Take-off guidance is the global standard for safe operations. IATA’s self-assessment checklist is a practical implementation guide to help airlines comply.”

“A harmonized approach to health is key not only to the recovery of civil aviation but also to ‘building back better,’ which is crucially important to ensuring the future resilience of the aviation network,” added ICAO’s Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano. “IATA’s health checklist for airlines will be of importance in terms of providing momentum for the implementation of the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) recommendations, of which harmonization and resilience are the guiding principles.”

Meanwhile, ICAO is also backing Airports Council International’s (ACI) newly launched Airport Health Accreditation program, which aims to establish consistent health and safety standards for airports around the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Turkey’s Istanbul Airport was the world’s first airport to be accredited through the program.

“Air travel is a key driver for a global economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ICAO’s support for our accreditation program will provide immeasurable assistance in promoting the harmonization of health measures being introduced around the world to facilitate the restart of aviation,” said ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira in a statement.

“Our new program enables airports to demonstrate to passengers, staff, regulators, and governments that they are prioritizing health and safety in a measurable, established manner while also validating their own measures and processes,” he added. “Consistency will be the key to a sustained recovery and the ICAO guidelines lay the framework for a globally-coordinated approach which will foster public confidence in aviation.”

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