Singapore to implement ICAO guidelines fully

ICAO said that it will continue to update the guidelines based on the latest risk assessments.
ICAO said that it will continue to update the guidelines based on the latest risk assessments.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Singapore will fully implement the Covid-19 guidelines proposed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as flights gradually resume worldwide.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said yesterday that it is "very satisfied" with the guidelines, which will help to coordinate the international aviation community's steps towards recovery and "help build up public confidence for international travel".

Its director-general Kevin Shum said: "CAAS has been working closely with Changi Airport Group, airlines and our local industry partners to implement measures for the flights that are currently still operating at Changi Airport."

Mr Shum represented Singapore in ICAO's Council Aviation Recovery Task Force.

Besides the wearing of a mask or a face covering inside aircraft and terminals, as well as physical distancing of at least 1m, guidelines proposed by ICAO to lessen the risk of infections also include having passengers move around as little as possible within the plane cabin and not queueing up outside toilets.

Mr Shum said coordinated action internationally is needed to bring about recovery in the aviation sector. "The safety and well-being of passengers, air crew and airport staff, as well as public health in Singapore, were key priorities of CAAS.

"We emphasised the need for 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."

ICAO told The Straits Times that it will continue to update the guidelines based on the latest risk assessments. Its president Salvatore Sciacchitano said: "Whether or not this pandemic leads to lasting changes for passengers will depend mainly on the medical conclusions we determine about it in the months and years ahead."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 03, 2020, with the headline 'S'pore to implement ICAO guidelines fully'. Subscribe