The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed decisions taken by aviation regulators to provide flexibility to airlines and flight crew during the COVID-19 crisis, whilst urging others to follow suit.
Gilberto Lopez Meyer, IATA’s Senior Vice President, Safety and Flight Operations, said: “Safety is the industry’s top priority. Countries have a well-established licensing system to ensure this. Airlines and their employees are facing an unprecedented challenge in coping with the business and operational impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. In this extraordinarily difficult environment, we are grateful for actions to ease regulatory requirements that do not impact the safety of flights.”
Examples of actions being taken by regulators:
- The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published templates which may be used by state regulators to notify EASA of the use of flexibility provisions. This allows for the extension to the validity periods for licences, ratings, endorsements, certificates and attestations of aircrew, instructors, examiners, aircraft maintenance licence holders and air traffic controllers as well as extension of Airworthiness Review Certificates.
- The UK Civil Aviation Authority has put a process in place to allow an extension to the validity of pilot and cabin crew requirements.
“Aviation is built on partnership and working together. The actions taken by these regulators will provide airlines and licensed crew with the necessary flexibility for licence extensions without compromising safety. We urge others to quickly follow suit and grant similar short-term relief,” said Lopez Meyer.
IATA is also offering help for airlines whose IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) cannot be performed owing to COVID-19 travel restrictions that make it impossible for auditors to visit airlines, or because of other circumstances related to the current crisis. Extensions of IOSA audits are being offered for periods of up to six months, however airlines will be required to complete an IOSA safety questionnaire at a minimum of every 60 days during the extension period. The applicable Temporary Revision to the IOSA Program Manual (IPM) and affected registrations on the IOSA Registry can be consulted at www.iata.org/iosa.
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