THE European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have published a document regarding rules and guidelines to be followed which will “guarantee the safety of air passengers and workers in aviation,” amongst these is the need to change your face mask every four hours when travelling on a long haul flight.
These entities, which are both dependent on the European Union, advocate social distancing wherever possible and that wearing a mask on the plane will be mandatory. Both passengers and crew will have to wear the mask before entering the airport they depart from and until they have reached their destination.
Furthermore, because the life span of a mask is rather short, the EASA and ECDC establish that these should be changed every four hours, and that passengers must carry enough units with them to account for this. They have also recommended that planes make these extra masks available by recommendation.
The group also recommends that social distancing be upheld wherever possible, for example, at check in, security control, pre-boarding and during boarding. However, on board the aircraft they given some room for flexibility due to its limited space but that “aircraft operators should ensure, as far as possible, physical distance between passengers.”
Other recommendations are, frequently wash your hands, disinfection of equipment and minimising on-board service.
The European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Valean is confident that this document will “reassure passengers about the safety of their trip and, therefore, help the industry recover from the effects of this pandemic.”
On the other hand, Patrick Ky, the executive director of EASA has emphasised that security will be a key player in the reactivation of the commercial aviation industry, “now it is up to airlines and airports to adapt their facilities and operations to the recommendations,” he said.