During the “COVID-19 Technical Group” ICAO meeting held on Monday 30/03, The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) restated the urgent need to provide immediate support to the air cargo sector. Speaking to experts from the WHO, IATA, ACI, CANSO, FIATA, GEA and WCO, TIACA hammered home the vital nature of air cargo, both in the fight against COVID-19 and for the survival of people and global economies.
“Everyone, and governments in particular, should be aware of the fact that in this period of unprecedented crisis, air cargo is more vital than ever. Every effort should be made to increase the efficiency of air cargo operations, in both financial and operational terms,” said Vladimir Zubkov, TIACA’s General Secretary.
In light of this, and to ensure the continued existence of cargo activities, TIACA is calling for measures to be implemented immediately, including:
- Financial support from governments for air cargo stakeholders in the form of subsidies, bank guarantees, and tax and contribution deferrals;
- For aviation authorities to simplify processes surrounding charter traffic rights (pharmaceutical products, masks, medicines, etc.) and temporarily relax regulations (air freedom restrictions, airport switching, slot amendments);
- Applying air traffic control charges in strict compliance with ICAO recommendations;
- Recognize the essential nature of handling and maintenance agents;
- Giving priority to handling of “Charter pharma flights against COVID-19” (apron and warehouse) across all airports worldwide;
- Drawing attention of aircraft leasing companies to the importance of simplifying leasing contract reviews, including eliminating sanctions and allowing repayment holidays.
“TIACA was able to put all of these important and concrete requests to the ICAO technical group thanks to feedback from TIACA members and the association’s unfailing commitment to fight on behalf of and alongside the air cargo industry,” said Steven Polmans.