European Business Aviation Association
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The European Business Aviation Association is urging European policymakers and regulators to collaborate closely when defining rules for the safe reopening of air travel, as the business aviation sector is on the frontline of the pandemic and will help shape the European economic and social recovery.
The European Commission is currently developing a set of rules for the safe reopening of air travel in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. These guidelines and protective measures should be published mid-May 2020 according to the European Commissioner for Transport Ms Adina-Ioana Vălean. The proposed rules should ensure a safe, timely and workable return to normal operations for all airspace users in Europe.
Commenting on the open letter, EBAA secretary general Athar Husain Khan says: “The safety of our passengers and crews is and always will be the top priority in our sector. Our letter outlines all the measures that business aviation operators have already put in place to ensure their safety, before and during the pandemic."
In its open letter, EBAA calls on policymakers and regulators in the EU institutions, member states, Switzerland and the UK to:
- Consider the unique nature of business aviation operations, the personalised approach and services offering the highest levels of safety, even before the crisis. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, business aviation can quickly incorporate more public health measures.
- Work with business aviation experts and consider the technical guidelines that are currently in place to define any future rules for the safe reopening of air travel. Detailed business aviation technical guidelines are under development by a specialised EBAA safety and technical committee composed of engineers, medical doctors and business aviation safety specialists. These guidelines will be shared with policymakers and regulators ahead of the publications of the rules by the European Commission.
Business aviation, the EBAA states, plays a vital role in the fight against COVID-19. In the face of numerous operational challenges and restrictions, many operators are currently providing essential services to communities fighting the pandemic, including for the transport of health workers and critical medical supplies. Business aviation operations are adaptable, tailored and highly secure by nature.
“Business aviation will also be on the frontline of the post-crisis recovery. When families want to reunite, when companies need to transport workers once again, when governments want to continue their repatriation efforts, business aviation operators will be able to help, quickly and safely,” Khan adds.
The business aviation sector, the association believes, has always been a lifeline for communities, be it for medical transport or as a tool to help governments and businesses generate local economic development. Business aviation operators can offer specific precautionary measures and guarantees that ensure the highest level of safety for crews and passengers alike. As such, business aviation can and will be one of the first-movers once it is safe to lift travel restrictions and Europe is ready to begin its recovery process.