In a step to revive the aviation sector and help governments to overcome the burdens caused by the COVID-19, the UAE has been recently elected as a member of the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force, established by members of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
The goal of CART is to propose policies and priorities for states on a strategic level to prepare the world for the post-crisis era. CART also aims to support states and industry to overcome the challenges associated with COVID-19 to bring back the aviation operations and movements around the world and reconnect airports once again keeping in mind health precautions and measures issued by international and local health authorities, to create more flexible aviation system for the future.
The task group consist of the Council members, representatives and heads of the global aviation sector and United Nations organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the World Tourism Organisation.
In this context, Saif Al Suwaidi- Director General of the General Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA, said, "The UAE welcomes the initiative taken by the ICAO Council. The UAE Government attaches the highest importance to international cooperation, as we believe that the international community must stand together to overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak and to recover from its effects."
The air transport industry is one of the vital pillars of the global socio-economic growth and a vital one for economic development, creating job opportunities, supporting tourism and local businesses, and stimulating foreign investment and international trade and supporting it should priority of every government.
He added, "Locally, the UAE has always sought to support the economic sector and ensure the continuity of those affected by the spread of the COVID-19 around the world. The GCAA held several coordination meetings with the national carriers and the concerned authorities to discuss the impact of the consequences of the COVID-19 virus on the civil aviation sector in the country and the proposed solutions to reduce these repercussions.
The GCAA and its strategic partners are also working and coordinating with government entities under the umbrella of The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority to develop a comprehensive strategy that seeks to limit the damages of this global pandemic."
In this regard, Captain Aysha Alhameli, UAE Permanent Representative on the ICAO Council, highlighted the importance of international collaboration. She said, "The nomination of the UAE reflects the importance of the leadership role that the UAE plays on the international level being an active member in the ICAO council since 2007.
The task force is mandated to work on developing strategic priorities and policies in collaboration with all our stakeholders to ensure a safe restart and recovery during and post-COVID19 outbreak. We are also looking into the long terms plans to build a resilient and responsive aviation industry."
Ismael Mohammed Al Blooshi, Assistant Director-General of Aviation Safety Affairs in the GCAA, said, "The UAE foresees gradual recovery and global support measures for recommencement of aviation. Even before the total "halt" of passenger traffic, the UAE has been working on a concept for "resumption", so CART will be given full support from the UAE. We are maintaining very high expectations on the outcome to ensure harmonised, well-considered and ultimately successful global restart.
It is imperative that all stakeholders in the Aviation Industry are provided relevant guidelines and protocols, covering several functions and sectors of the industry that shall be implemented to ensure an organized, safe, secure and efficient normalisation of the industry operations for the post COVID-19 lockdown. The guidelines will ensure all travelers coming into the UAE are adequately screened while causing minimum disruption to facilitation of travel."