UAE: GACA launches a protocol for managing infectious diseases during travel

Omar Abbas - | Mix

A new policy that aims to improve air safety, especially in light of infectious diseases, has been introduced by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

The goal of this policy is to support larger initiatives to stop the spread of infections during air travel by offering more flexibility in handling health emergencies. This practice was introduced as a preventative measure to protect pilots and passengers.

In a statement released today, GACA outlined the essential elements of the new protocol. These include rapid reporting processes for operator stations and defined cooperation mechanisms with local health departments and authorities. The emphasis is on timely communication and coordinated action to manage potential health threats effectively. This approach ensures that any infectious disease concerns are swiftly addressed, minimizing the risk of widespread transmission.

Collaborative Development and Presentation

The protocol was developed through close coordination with the Ministry of Health and Community Protection. This collaboration ensures that the protocol is comprehensive and aligns with national health policies and international standards. The protocol was first introduced during a joint meeting of the Collaborative Arrangement Program for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in International Aviation (CAPSCA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

This important presentation demonstrated the initiative's global reach when it was made during an official delegation visit to Germany by GACA's Air Safety Affairs Sector.

An important part of managing and preventing public health incidents in international aviation is the ICAO's CAPSCA effort. GACA connects its activities with an international framework intended to improve response and readiness by taking part in CAPSCA. This partnership emphasizes how crucial international cooperation is to upholding high standards for public health and aviation safety. The role of CAPSCA is critical in offering a methodical approach to handling health emergencies in the aviation industry, guaranteeing that actions are both efficient and universally applicable.

His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of GACA, emphasized the protocol's importance. He highlighted that this initiative reflects GACA's commitment to enhancing global air safety and public health flexibility. By developing cooperative efforts with international partners, GACA aims to ensure the protection of travelers around the world. Al Suwaidi's statement reinforces GACA's proactive stance in addressing global health challenges through strategic planning and international collaboration.

Aqeel Al Zarouni, Assistant Director General of the Aviation Safety Affairs Sector at GACA, elaborated on the protocol's significant impact. He explained that it contributes to organizing efforts against communicable diseases in air transport, thereby enhancing airport capabilities.

This protocol strengthens the frameworks for cooperation between the aviation and health sectors, ensuring a coordinated and efficient response to health threats. By improving these frameworks, GACA not only addresses immediate health concerns but also builds a more resilient aviation system capable of handling future crises.

Enhancing airport capabilities

The protocol also emphasizes enhancing operational capacities and airport infrastructure for handling medical emergencies. This includes putting up places specifically for health screenings, educating employees about health procedures, and making sure airports have the goods and tools they need for medical care. To ensure seamless operations in the event of a health emergency and to safeguard employees and passengers alike, these capacities must be improved.

GACA's efforts to enhance air safety through this new protocol are part of a broader strategy to strengthen international partnerships. By working closely with organizations like ICAO and CAPSCA, GACA aims to stay at the forefront of global aviation safety standards. These partnerships are vital for sharing knowledge, resources, and best practices, ensuring that the aviation sector remains resilient in the face of evolving health threats.

The introduction of this new protocol by GACA marks a significant advancement in the efforts to ensure the safety and health of air travelers. By establishing clear procedures for reporting and cooperation and by fostering international partnerships, GACA is taking a proactive approach to creating a safer and more resilient air travel environment. This protocol not only addresses current health challenges but also prepares the aviation sector for future public health events, ensuring continued protection for travelers worldwide.

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Omar Abbas
Omar Abbas
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