Improved coordination and awareness urged as COVID-19 impacts continue to be felt worldwide


ICAO has issued new COVID-19 calls to governments globally, urging improved coordination with aircraft operators on the current air services updates and flight restrictions in force.

We have asked our Member States to examine the best means of supporting stakeholders from the aviation sector, including maintenance, air traffic services, and other safety- and security-critical aviation system suppliers.

“These are truly unprecedented times,” stressed ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu “and they are posing risks not only to the airline operator and airport profitability that most passengers would be familiar with. As COVID-19 continues to impede and diminish global mobility in all world regions, we’re also seeing very serious risks emerging to the operational viability of air traffic control systems and safety oversight systems, vital support industry segments such as ground services, repair and maintenance facilities, and other key system providers.”

ICAO’s calls for improved government-operator coordination were contained in its most recent State Letter. It drew ICAO Member States’ attention to how some current flight crew notifications issued by States were not providing sufficient detail on the respective national flight operations restrictions, airport closures, and reductions in air traffic services now in force.

The letter called on governments to review air traffic services priorities to ensure basic humanitarian, emergency, and other COVID-19-related global response capabilities, and to have basic contingency arrangements in place especially with respect to the sustainability of the global air cargo supply chain and efficient worldwide availability of medical and hygienic supplies.

Dr. Liu underscored that all such details should be clearly highlighted in the Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs), which States issue to airline flight crews relevant to their national airspace capabilities and restrictions.