BRUSSELS — Flight Safety Foundation today called on governments, regulators and health authorities to adopt a data-driven and science-based approach to accelerate safe reopening of borders to international air travel.
The Foundation also said that implementation of the European Union (EU) Digital COVID Certificate, which should exempt European travelers from many travel restrictions, is a step in the right direction and encouraged EU states to implement the certificate as quickly as possible. “The EU Digital COVID Certificate will only be effective if it is implemented across the EU and if individual countries refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions unless absolutely necessary,” said Foundation President and CEO Dr. Hassan Shahidi. “We also are encouraged by reports of the EU reopening travel from the United States and other non-EU countries.”
“After 18 months of lockdowns and travel restrictions, the public is eager to take to the airways to conduct business and reunite with their loved ones, but they can’t because of a bewildering patchwork of travel restrictions and quarantine requirements,” said Capt. Conor Nolan, chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Governors. “Safely restarting aviation will require government and industry to agree on a risk-based approach to reopening air travel, but that is nothing new for aviation. Managing safety risk is in our DNA. The tools to restart – vaccines, health and hygiene protocols, and proven antigen testing – already exist, but we need government leadership to move the process forward.”
The Foundation shortly will release a white paper on a safe return to the skies. The paper, which has been reviewed by the Foundation’s Medical Advisory Committee, outlines a comprehensive approach, including hygiene protocols, risk-based methods and expanded use of COVID testing to reduce or, in some cases, perhaps eliminate, the need to quarantine.
“Timely testing post-arrival can help play an important role in reducing quarantine,” said Dr. David Hamer, a member of the Foundation’s committee and professor of Global Health and Medicine at the Boston University School of Public Health and School of Medicine.
While some regions have made significant progress on vaccinations, other regions around the world are lagging behind. Vaccinations are a critical tool in the fight against the pandemic and are key to enabling unfettered, safe travel.
The Foundation is working with other international organizations and the medical community to help develop comprehensive and sustainable strategies to enable safe travel utilizing a number of proven methods to ease restrictions.
About Flight Safety Foundation
Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, international organization engaged in research, education and communications to improve aviation safety. The Foundation’s mission is to connect, influence and lead global aviation safety.
Vice President, Communications
+1 703.739.6700, ext. 116