COVID-19 Update 31
Thursday 30 April 2020
Dear AOA Member,
Today I joined our regular call with the Business Secretary, where we had an in-depth discussion on quarantine for arriving passengers. I made the point that quarantine proposals are inconsistent with a restart of aviation, or indeed the wider economy as no one will travel. Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi MP deputised on the call for the Business Secretary and he said that the DfT’s Restart and Recovery Unit will be asked to consider this, and examine all these issues. I noted the importance of Government departments joining up on this, so what we feed in to DfT should be passed to other Departments for their planning work.
More broadly, I and others made the point about Government needing to act at pace – we need guidance on medical/health screening standards within the next two weeks so that businesses have time to prepare. Finally, I reiterated that aviation will lag behind other sectors in recovery and that the extension to the Job Retention Scheme beyond June is essential, as well as the need for it to become more flexible as we adjust to re-start conditions.
We also had a useful conversation with the CAA about airport charges. As you may know, any changes to airport charges for airports with more than five million passengers need to be set following consultation with airlines. This is challenging at this time, with so much being unpredictable. The CAA noted the flexibility in the regulation and we’ll send more details to airports on that.
On the media side, we contributed to an article on the BBC News website about the restart of aviation, which you can read here.
Finally, a number of airports are looking at PPE. In this context, I would like to point you to this article by the European Safety Federation about counterfeit PPE and suspicious certification, which I hope you will find helpful.