CJI Middle East & Africa 2020: Safeguarding health post Covid-19

Mike Stones

 

 
The Covid-19 global pandemic is forcing flight planners to consider a wider range of factors to keep passengers and crew safe and to ensure operations run efficiently, according to Mohammed Al Husary, Executive President UAS Trip Support.

“From now on, trip planning will have to consider a wider pool of facts to ensure safe future operations,” he said. “Flight planners need to plan well in advance of flight operations asking a series of very important questions. Those include: Are night stops permitted at the destination airport, will the crew be tested on arrival and is there a quarantine requirement on arrival?”

Health screening had become “a massive consideration”, with many countries demanding that passengers supply a negative PCR (polymerise chain reaction) test before boarding the plane. Also, regulations continued to differ around the world. For example, Saudi Arabia has set no date for the resumption of international flights to and from the country, whereas Kuwait’s ban on international travel was lifted on August 1st. (Read more detail in the list below).

‘A massive consideration’

Airports and FBOs will become even more committed to introducing comprehensive Covid-19 protocols linked to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, predicted Al Husary. Enhanced safety procedures were likely to include increased cleaning and sanitisation of common areas with Environmental Protection Agency-approved products and touch-free transactions.

Operators will focus on reducing ground time to minimise the exposure of passengers and crew to the potential risk of contamination with the Covid-19 virus. There will also be an emphasis on the provision of contactless services, which make use of gesture control and voice command technology.

‘Rely less on intermediary and third-party providers’

The new Covid-19 landscape would also concentrate attention operators who could deliver complete services, said Al Husary. “It is becoming important for operators to rely less on intermediary and third-party providers by choosing the provider and the support company that can provide the full range of services directly without intermediaries,” he said.

So, operational challenges will continue for the foreseeable future, predicted Al Husary. “Flight planners, dispatchers and operators will continue to find solutions to these challenges, as they arise.”

 

Middle East travel restrictions – at a glance*

  • -Dubai: Opened to international passengers in July. Passengers require recent negative PCR test
  • -Egypt: Visitors to present negative PCR test issued no more than 72 hours before arrival
  • -Morocco: All international flights to and from the country suspended, except for over-flights and cargo flights
  • -Jordan: Resumption of international commercial flights postponed until further notice
  • -Kuwait: Ban on international travel lifted on August 1st
  • -Saudi Arabia: No date set for the resumption of international flights to and from the country

 

*-Information was valid on September 6th but may have changed subsequently.

Mohammed Al Husary, Executive President UAS Trip Support: “Flight planners,

dispatchers and operators will continue to find solutions to these challenges, as

they arise.”

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