They were the two questions that I was asked the most in recent weeks.
You know that I love to respond and also bring you good news, one of which is the progressive reactivation of more air routes:
“Emirates recovers its flights with Madrid from May 21.”
“Air Canada will resume flights to Barcelona from June 25.”
The second best news is that we already have a global IATA (International Air Transport Association) COVID – 19 protocol for commercial flights.
It is an essential roadmap for all travellers, where the new recommendations that will help us fight against the Covid-19 coronavirus on flights are detailed.
The IATA protocol that regulates all commercial aeronautical movement on a global level is divided into four stages. I’ll explain it to you step by step on Youtube:
1. The well-known Online Check-in to minimize waiting times at the airport and carry the boarding pass on your mobile phone or printed.
2. Digital form with personal contact information at the destination for the proper monitoring of passengers in case of contagion
Arriving at the airport to board
3. Only workers and passengers can access the terminal. Accompanying persons will be allowed in cases where passengers have a disability, reduced mobility, or are minors travelling alone.
4. Taking the temperature before accessing the airport by health personnel with due protection.
5. Recommended minimum physical distance between one and two meters at the counter, self-service stations, boarding.
6. Extensive use of automation is recommended, for example, for baggage delivery. Also, biometrics should be provided.
7. Face protection: In addition to the use of masks and protective equipment for personnel working in airports and airlines, the use of a show is recommended for all passengers.
8. Constant and permanent disinfection throughout the infrastructure: sliding doors, trolleys to carry luggage, etc.
9. Use of Test. IATA points out that there are still no reliable rapid tests, but they recommend their use. As this technology progresses, it could be performed on passengers at the terminal entrance.
10. Serological test: Some countries, such as Austria, already exempt you from the quarantine measure when you arrive if you have recently done the serological test, valued at approximately 200 dollars.
10. Immunity passport: If science obtains conclusive results on the immunity generated after the contagion of coronavirus COVID-19 and a passenger can document that he was already infected, he could be exempted from some protection measures such as taking the temperature in the entry and use of masks.
11. The elimination of rows of seats is not contemplated; the flight will be customarily occupied. According to IATA studies and health experts, the cabin of an aeroplane has meagre chances of contagion of coronavirus.
All passengers are seated in the same direction, and if an infected person is coughing forward, the seat itself is a physical barrier.
The air that enters from the outside has an average temperature of 25 to 30 degrees below zero. It passes through the motor, which compresses it and mixes it to heat it, eliminating any trace of impurity and carrying away the humidity. Hence it dries out so much the throat and lips, nothing that a few bottles of water or cocoa for lips can not solve.
The use of HEPA filters (the same ones used in very sophisticated operating rooms) and the direction of the airflow in a cabin is from top to bottom. During the flight, the air is being completely renewed between 20 to 30 cycles every hour. Practically every two minutes, all the air in the aircraft cabin has passed through a HEPA filter that manages to trap 99.97% of particles such as bacteria or viruses. It enters the cabin vertically, lowers to the ground, and is absorbed by that grid on the ground and expelled outside.
The use of masks is obviously recommended for all people who fly. I would use the FF92 / N95 specials to travel, which retain about 92% of possible viruses.
12. The crew will also adjust their protocols regarding serving food and beverages and offering disinfectant wipes to passengers to clean their spaces.
When landing at the destination
13. Trained health personnel to control the temperature of each passenger.
14. Digital controls in immigration: governments should consider electronic options such as passport reading, eye and face recognition, and so on.
15. When collecting luggage, avoid waiting times in the lounges and respect the distance.
16. Regarding passengers in transit, cooperation between countries is essential to avoid repeating unnecessary security procedures.
17. Each country is implementing measures regarding the arrival of foreign passengers. I have a note of the measures currently being implemented by the Government of Spain. I leave it linked a little below.
As we can see, a few measures that added together can mitigate the spread of this virus between countries. Until we have vaccines or medical treatment, we will have to undertake them, and I would not be surprised if some of them were maintained over time.