Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 40

Thursday 14 May 2020

Dear AOA Member,

As I mentioned in my update yesterday, we had the second meeting of the Expert Steering Group (ESG) for the DfT’s Restart, Recovery & Engagement work today. It was a constructive call, enabling us to share our views on the initial long list of health measures. DfT has shaped the current proposals based on AOA, Airlines UK and member airports’ input, and my assessment is that reasonable progress is being made.  It was agreed that the proposals should be compared with those developed by EASA (see below) with a view to presenting a revised – final – set of measures to next week’s experts group meeting.

The quarantine plans were also touched on, but there was little new information: the announcement will come in the ‘next few days’, but there will be a gap between the announcement and the quarantine coming in to force, as legislation is needed. On a side note, we also joined a call with Business Secretary Alok Sharma, where several business groups raised concerns over the impact of quarantine on their industries and the need for a thorough list of exemptions.

Coming back to the ESG call, the Foreign Office also participated, and warned that the current travel advisory would remain in place for some time – ‘at least a month’ was the wording. Obviously we will work to ensure this is tied into the restart programme. We’ll now drill into the detail and we’ll be getting in touch with members again to seek feedback on the measures.

As mentioned, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) released their draft COVID-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol, a copy of which you can find here. It is reassuring to see that there is significant alignment with the DfT work especially as the EASA protocol leaves significant room for interpretation around the implementation by individual countries.

Finally, one brief thing that may be of interest to you:

Best wishes

Karen Dee
Chief Executive