European coordination meeting looks at measures to restart international air travel

11 March - A videoconference with the Directors General of ECAC Member States, DG MOVE, EASA and EUROCONTROL discussed in particular the recent developments in air traffic and heard updates from Member States and organisations on flight and travel restrictions and on the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART) Phase III progress, as well as a presentation from the OECD-International Transport Forum (ITF) on the COVID-Free International Mobility Initiative.

EUROCONTROL provided an update on the traffic situation, which remains difficult. Traffic over the week before the meeting was reduced by 65% compared to the same period in 2019.

OECD provided an overview of the COVID-Free International Mobility Initiative, developed in consultation with ICAO (CART III, Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation - CAPSCA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the European Commission. On the possible incorporation of vaccines, OECD mentioned that WHO did not endorse any proof of vaccination as a requirement for international travel, but had launched a “Smart Vaccination Certificate Working Group” that is developing QR/bar codes for possible future implementation as proof of vaccination.

The ECAC Secretariat provided an update on the ICAO CART III progress. The meeting noted that the CART III process had come to a close with the presentation of reports to the ICAO Council on 12 March. On vaccination, the reports said - following many European interventions - that vaccination should not be a precondition for international travel.