The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an updated version of the EASA-ECDC Aviation Health Safety Protocol, taking account of the learnings from its first operational implementation. It addresses topics such as the importance and need for having Universal Precaution Kit on board, electronic contact tracing tools, aircraft ventilation system set-up and waste management.
EASA-ECDC Aviation Health Safety Protocol
The new version of the protocol is part of a package of updates to ready airlines and airports for the summer travel season, adjusting the advice and instructions given to align with the current COVID-19 situation and taking into account the opening of the intra-EU borders as of July 1, 2020.
Two Safety Directives 2020-03 & 2020-04 issued on June 25, 2020 mandate operators to fully clean and disinfect aircraft at least once every 24 hours, or more frequently if deemed necessary on the basis of the operator’s risk assessment.
Aircraft used for long-haul flights need to be disinfected before each flight to, from or within Europe. The Safety Directives apply to both European and non-European carriers.
In addition, EASA has issued a new safety information bulletin EASA SIB 2020-02R5 recommending the implementation of the EASA-ECDC Aviation Health Safety Protocol and highlighting the importance of harmonisation to support safe travelling and the traffic growth.
The EASA Guidance on Management of Crew Members and the EASA Guidance on Aircraft Cleaning and Disinfection have been updated to be fully aligned with the EASA-ECDC Aviation Health Safety Protocol and publications from ECDC, ICAO and other stakeholders.