ECAC takes stock of latest developments on COVID-19

3 and 22 February 2021 - Two European coordination meetings to take stock of the latest developments around the COVID-19 pandemic were held virtually in February, assembling Directors General of ECAC Member States, DG MOVE, EASA and EUROCONTROL.

Participants heard updates from EUROCONTROL on the traffic situation, noting a reduction in flights for some airlines of up to 90% compared to 2019, and heard recent statistics and lessons learnt from EASA on implementation of the ECDC/EASA guidelines.

Member States briefed the meeting on the latest developments, travel restrictions and requirements in their own States. The participants stressed that the summer period should provide an opportunity for the tourism sector to restart, and the important role aviation plays in this. While Member States were taking the necessary mitigation measures to stop the spread of the virus, the aviation sector needed an "exit strategy" to "save the summer" and have some certainty in order to prepare for a restart of operations. Participants also confirmed the importance of adopting a harmonised approach towards certifying vaccinations.

On ICAO matters, the meeting reviewed progress in the CART groups and the European priorities and expectations for the outcomes of the CART, and discussed the ICAO High-level Conference on COVID-19 (HLCC 2021) to be held in October 2021, and the ongoing preparations for the conference.