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IATA Thanks Regulators for Flexibility, Urges Others to Follow Suit26/03/2020

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released information on its website on March 21, welcoming the flexibility favored to airlines and flight crew by Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and other aviation regulators during the COVID-19 crisis.

Gilberto Lopez Meyer, IATA’s Senior Vice President, Safety and Flight Operations said “Safety is the industry’s top priority. Countries have a well-established licensing system to ensure this. Airlines and their employees are facing an unprecedented challenge in coping with the business and operational impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. In this extraordinarily difficult environment, we are grateful for actions to ease regulatory requirements that do not impact the safety of flights.”

IATA enumerated actions taken by civil aviation regulators including European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), UK Civil Aviation Authority and Agencia Federal de Aviación Civil de Mexico. Examples of such actions are as follows:

EASA has published templates which may be used by state regulators to notify EASA of the use of flexibility provisions. This allows for the extension to the validity periods for licences, ratings, endorsements, certificates and attestations of aircrew, instructors, examiners, aircraft maintenance licence holders and air traffic controllers as well as extension of Airworthiness Review Certificates.

GCAA has published a decision allowing for flexibility to the validity periods for licenses, ratings, certificates applicable to flight crew and cabin crew.

CAAC has recognized the need for flexibility in the delivery of classroom training and in the completion of recurrent training and granted the ability to extend the validity periods for some elements of training applicable to pilots, engineers, cabin crew and dispatchers.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has put a process in place to allow an extension to the validity of pilot and cabin crew qualifications.

The Agencia Federal de Aviación Civil de Mexico is extending the validity of permits, licenses and/or certificates for technical personnel for three months.

“Aviation is built on partnership and working together. The actions taken by these regulators will provide airlines and licensed crew with the necessary flexibility for licence extensions without compromising safety. We urge others to quickly follow suit and grant similar short-term relief,” said Lopez Meyer.

IATA is also offering help for airlines whose IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) cannot be performed owing to COVID-19 travel restrictions that make it impossible for auditors to visit airlines, or because of other circumstances related to the current crisis. Extensions of IOSA audits are being offered for periods of up to six months, however airlines will be required to complete an IOSA safety questionnaire at a minimum of every 60 days during the extension period.

The applicable Temporary Revision to the IOSA Program Manual (IPM) and affected registrations on the IOSA Registry can be consulted at www.iata.org/iosa.