Bridging aviation and the health sectors in the EUR NAT region during the pandemic


CAPSCA: Managing a pandemic

The current COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be far more than a health crisis; it has caused immense economic and social distress throughout the globe. While aviation is one of the most heavily affected sectors, global supply chains, essential flights, emergency and humanitarian responses and the swift vaccine distribution rely predominantly on air transport.

The Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) is an ICAO global Program established in 2006 with the unique mission to bridge the Aviation and the Public Health sectors for the preparedness planning, capacity building and response/crisis management during various public health events that affect the aviation sector.

Preparedness and management crisis of Public Health Events of International Concern (PHEIC) proved to be as important as Safety and Security for the sustainability of the global Air Transport sector. Coordination and harmonization of Public Health measures is instrumental. For that purpose ICAO CAPSCA works closely with World Health Organization, several UN Organizations, Public Health Authorities, Civil Aviation Authorities, and Industry.

The CAPSCA EUR programme has currently 44 Members States. Within the EUR/NAT regions the CAPSCA EUR established an extensive network of both CAA and PH experts from 44 States and Regional Organizations. In 2021, the CAPSCA EUR programme delivered the following:

  • Provided to this network official information, studies and updates on all COVID 19 issues
  • Organized webinars for the implementation of ICAO CART recommendations, TOGD, Public Health Corridor guidance etc.
  • Coordinated with EASA and Interstate Aviation Committee to harmonize the implementation of Public Health Measures in the Region
  • Organized and participate regularly in coordination meetings with other regional Organizations
  • Supported the launch of a PHC iPack for Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, in partnership with IAC

The CAPSCA EUR Programme organized a joint interregional CAPSCA EUR/MID 09 meeting in December 2021 addressing 71 States with the participation of several key stakeholders from World Health Organization (WHO), Eur/EMRO, Airport Council International, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), Robert Koch Institute, ICCAIA, etc.

Sustainable funding of CAAs-COVID 19 impact- The EUR/NAT survey

The EUR/NAT Regional Office initiated, long before the COVID-19 crisis, a dialogue with its 56 States of accreditation on the sustainable funding of Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) to enable them to perform and continue their oversight functions.

With the current COVID-19 crisis, the need to address this issue has been further amplified. The first report of the ICAO’s Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) included several recommendations, including Recommendation 10 that invited States to consider appropriate measures to support financial viability and to maintain an adequate level of safe, secure and efficient operations for ICAO Member States during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the EUR/NAT Regional Office in close cooperation with ICAO HQ developed a dedicated survey to understand and analyze the funding structures and available resources for the Civil Aviation Authorities within the EUR/NAT Regions, taking into consideration the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Responses to the survey were compiled in a report that was presented to the joint 8th meeting of the two ICAO financial panels: the Airport Economic Panel (AEP) and the Air Navigation Services Economic Panel (ANSEP).

The results of the survey and of the joint panel meetings will be presented to the EUR/NAT States in 2022 along with a number of suggested actions.