Riyadh - The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has announced its initiative to unify procedures and policies related to health requirements to support the sector recovery from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with the aim of enabling the civil aviation sector in the world to face pandemics.
The authority seeks to prepare a framework that makes international traveling easier through removing confusion related to travel requirements, which prevents millions of people from booking air flights.
The initiative was prepared in cooperation with the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in a bid to unify procedures to ease work associated with international travel, whether for passengers or aviation companies and government institutions through establishing one digital source that provides the latest information and developments clearly and transparently and identifies the entry requirements for all participating countries.
The initiative to unify procedures and policies regarding the health requirements to support the recovery of the sector from the COVID-19 pandemic will be presented to the General Assembly of ICAO with the aim of receiving approvals from member states in October of this year.
GACA President Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Duailej, in a statement on the occasion of the start of the Future Aviation Forum, which is organized by GACA at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh over three days, noted that the pandemic has revealed the low level of coordination among countries at the international level, pointing out that several people chose not to travel in 2021 and are not willing to travel in 2022 due to the confusing heath requirements upon traveling from one country to another.
Al-Duailej said: Aviation represents a live artery for the global economy, and we all have to protect it from future upheavals, where the harmonious air travel policy shows the size of the leadership role that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plays to ensure the prosperity of the sector in coming years.
According to a recent survey conducted by YouGov, 32% of participants in the USA, 47% in the Arab Gulf, 40% in the UK and Italy said that confusion on health requirements will prevent them from air travel in 2022.
The proposed policy will seek to establish an international harmonious reporting policy for health crises with the use of digital communication tools that are specifically designed for this purpose, in addition to global governance and coordination processes, and a system that would ease global commitment, such as adopting a globally accredited digital health certificate.
Consequently, passengers will be able to reach guidelines and requirements necessary to move to their destinations easily, where the global platform will be able to merge all communications systems related to international aviation and health crises among governments.