TIACA pushes to facilitate airfreight as virus outbreak continues

By Rachelle Harry

Vladimir Zubkov, former secretary general, TIACA

At the latest Covid-19 Technical Group meeting, which took place on March 30, TIACA restated the “urgent need to provide immediate support to the air cargo sector”.

Speaking to experts from the World Health Organization, IATA, FIATA, Airports Council International (ACI), the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization, GE Aviation and the World Customs Organization, TIACA highlighted the crucial need for airfreight both in the fight against Covid-19 and for the survival of people and global economies.

To ensure that air cargo operations continue to run during this challenging period, TIACA has called for measures to be implemented immediately, including:

  • Financial support from governments for air cargo stakeholders in the form of subsidies, bank guarantees and tax and contribution deferrals;
  • For aviation authorities to simplify processes surrounding charter traffic rights (for pharmaceutical products, masks, medicines, etc.) and temporarily relax regulations (such as air freedom restrictions, airport switching, slot amendments);
  • Applying air traffic control charges in strict compliance with ICAO recommendations;
  • Recognize the essential nature of handling and maintenance agents;
  • Giving priority to the handling of “Charter pharma flights against Covid-19” (aprons and warehouses) across all airports worldwide;
  • Drawing attention of aircraft leasing companies to the importance of simplifying leasing contract reviews, including eliminating sanctions and allowing repayment holidays.

Vladimir Zubkov (pictured), general secretary of TIACA, explained: “Everyone — and governments in particular — should be aware of the fact that in this period of unprecedented crisis, air cargo is more vital than ever. Every effort should be made to increase the efficiency of air cargo operations, in both financial and operational terms.”

Steven Polmans, chairman of TIACA, added: “TIACA was able to put all of these important and concrete requests to the ICAO technical group thanks to feedback from TIACA members and the association’s unfailing commitment to fight on behalf of and alongside the air cargo industry.”

Created by ICAO in partnership with TIACA, the Covid-19 Technical Group is comprised of experts from the WHO, ICAO, TIACA, IATA, ACI and GE Aviation. It aims to facilitate the flow of air cargo around the world during the virus outbreak.

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