Singapore and the United Kingdom Commence Trials to Improve Public Health Safety for Air Crew

          Singapore and the United Kingdom (UK) have commenced a series of trials to test the crew module of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART)[1] ‘Take-off’ guidelines[2].  These guidelines aim to reduce public health risk to air passengers, air crew, airport staff while strengthening confidence among the travelling public.  

2.        ICAO, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority, Changi Airport, Heathrow Airport, British Airways and Singapore Airlines are participating in these trials. For a start, the trials will test the measures for air crew throughout the travel journey between Singapore and the UK.  The measures include maintaining safe distancing, meeting all relevant customs, immigration and health requirements, observing good hand hygiene and reduced interactions with passengers. During the layover at the respective countries, air crew are to remain in their crew accommodation at all times.

3.        The measures are based on the ICAO CART guidelines and are customised to each State’s requirements. These measures have been integrated into the regional implementation planning in support of the Public Health Corridors now being launched by ICAO.  Data will be collected by the participating parties for all phases of the flights.  The data will be analysed and reviewed by the three partners to strengthen the guidelines where necessary.

4.        Mr Kevin Shum, Director-General of the CAAS said, “Singapore is pleased to participate in the trials. The ICAO CART ‘Take-off’ guidance document offers a set of guidelines for coordinating the international aviation community’s steps towards recovery and to build up public confidence for international travel. These guidelines take a flexible and pragmatic approach by focusing on what makes operational and economic sense, bearing in mind that different countries would face different conditions, risks and risk tolerance.  The trials will help validate and improve the processes, where needed.”

5.        Mr Richard Moriarty, Chief Executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority said, “Aviation is an inherently international industry, so it is critical that we collaborate closely with our partners around the world to address the challenges presented by COVID-19. The UK CAA is therefore very pleased to be contributing to these trials. Ultimately, this work should help keep aviation as safe as possible for both passengers and crew throughout the current pandemic.”

6.        Dr. Fang Liu, ICAO Secretary General emphasized that “the CART’s work and deliverables have been developed in league with the ICAO Council Member States, our colleagues at the WHO, many other international organizations, and our partners in the aviation industry. They’ve been designed to enable Member States and Industry to implement harmonized risk mitigation measures in full accordance with the latest medical and traveller health advice available. ICAO’s Public Health Corridors are consistent with the CART recommendations and represents the implementation mechanism of the CART “Take-off” criteria. We want to thank the aviation authorities in Singapore and the United Kingdom for their support and involvement in this trial and their continuous contributions to ICAO.”

About the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore

The mission of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is to grow a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system, making a key contribution to Singapore's success. CAAS' roles are to oversee and promote safety in the aviation industry, develop the air hub and aviation industry, provide air navigation services, develop Singapore as a centre for aviation knowledge and training, and contribute to the development of international aviation.

About the International Civil Aviation Organization
A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, amongst many other priorities. The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 193 Member States.

About the UK Civil Aviation Authority
The CAA is the UK's aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines; and providing advice on aviation policy.

For further information, please contact:

Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
Ms Genevieve Yeow
Manager (Corporate Communications)

United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Press Office:
tel. +44 333 103 6000 

[1] Singapore and the UK are members of the ICAO CART, and participate actively in the workgroups which develop guidelines to create a “clean bubble” for air crew so that flights can be operated with minimal restrictions.

[2] The ICAO CART Take-off guidance document includes recommended measures for four operational modules relating to airport guidelines, aircraft guidelines, crew guidelines and cargo guidelines. Crew guidelines will be tested for these trials.