ICAO promotes COVID-19-free public health corridors
On 13 May, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) announced that it is encouraging the establishment of special COVID-19-free Public Health Corridors (PHCs) to address the “extensive and varied” country-to-country border restrictions now in place due to national pandemic measures.
In an attachment and appendix to its latest bulletin, ICAO underscored to national governments that current disruptions to international air movements have “severely disrupted the global aviation network, including the transport of essential items such as medical supplies and food.”
To keep supply lines open, and access to needed supplies better assured, the ICAO Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) has recommended that PHCs be established where COVID-19-free or ‘clean’ crew, aircraft, airport facilities, and passengers can continue to undertake their urgently-needed work. Guidance relating specifically to flight crew conducting essential cargo operations is appended to the new ICAO bulletin.
The ICAO PHC concept is COVID-19 specific and has been developed using a risk-based approach, taking relevant safety management principles and all relevant World Health Organization (WHO) and aviation sector pandemic guidance into account. The PHC will be regularly reviewed and updated based on the latest COVID-19 data available, and was introduced by ICAO in a recent webinar.