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Corona: UN aviation organization gives recommendations for flights

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Is the middle seat released? The United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has Recommendations for air traffic in the Covid-19 pandemic published. However, these are not binding.

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Passengers should keep a distance of one meter on the plane, the aviation organization recommends. However, the recommendations do not contain any requirement that the center seat should remain free or that only every second row of seats should be occupied.

The airlines are against leaving the middle seat of a three-seater. If they could only use two thirds of their machines, that would be unprofitable, they argue. It is difficult to reconcile both. The result would be an increase in airfares.

Furthermore, the ICAO suggests that travelers wear a mask on the plane as well as in the airport building. As far as possible, they should not leave their seats on the plane. If it should be necessary to go to the toilet, you should avoid queues in front of it. The cabin crew wants to equip the organization with protective equipment such as medical masks, face shields and gloves.

In order to keep the risk of infection as low as possible during a flight, only healthy people should fly. According to the authority, all travelers should have themselves tested for Sars Cov-2, the virus that triggers Covid-19, and present the result of the test before starting the flight. In addition, their body temperature should be measured at the airport. Another measurement is recommended for the end of the trip.

Contact should be avoided as much as possible. Travelers should therefore not use paper plane tickets, but electronic ones. This also applies to security control – here the federal police already have adopt national rules. The ICAO recommends other contactless methods, such as face or iris recognition for identification.

The measures that the ICAO has developed together with the World Health Organization (WHO) and various organizations in the aviation industry are recommendations that are intended to serve to supplement and advance existing plans for resuming air traffic, but not to replace them .

The guidelines should “Support the resumption and recovery of global aviation in a safe and sustainable manner.”, said Philippe Bertoux, the French representative on the ICAO Council. “In order for them to be successful, we need to take a multi-layered approach, especially a risk-based approach. Measures are introduced or removed as needed and based on many medical and other relevant factors.”

Due to the pandemic lockdown, air traffic was largely at a standstill. According to Airports Council International (ACI), the association of airports, the number of passengers at European airports in April was 98.6 percent below that of April 2019. The governments are now loosening travel restrictions again. Air traffic is slowly starting up again.

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