ICAO task force provides Covid-19 guidance for safe air cargo operations

By Damian Brett

ICAO has provided a series of guidelines on how air cargo operations should be carried out at airports to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The guidance was issued by ICAO’s Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) after consulting with countries, regional organisations, the World Health Organisation and aviation industry groups.

The cargo guidance is part of a wider programme that aims to get passenger operations back in the air.

The cargo module covers: road feeders to freight reception and pick-up; within the cargo facility; cargo facility to ramp; and aircraft loading.

Most of advice, although not all, centres on trying to keep people at a safe distance, making sure hand sanitiser and PPE is available and used when necessary, cleaning any equipment — such as forklifts — after use, educating staff on personal hygiene principles, document signing carried out with people’s own pens,and using digital documentation as much as possible.

Advice for cargo flight crew is included in the crew section of the guidance.

“Whilst air cargo consignments do not come into contact with the travelling public, the cargo acceptance and hand over process does include interaction with non-airport employees,” ICAO said.

“The Cargo Module addresses aviation public health including physical distancing, personal sanitation, protective barriers point of transfer to the ramp and the loading and unloading, and other mitigation procedures.”

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