The UK and Singapore have started trials to test the crew module of the Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART) ‘Take-off’ guidelines made by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

These guidelines are expected to decrease the public health risk to airport staff, air passengers and air crew, and boost passenger confidence in travel amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The trial has welcomed participation from ICAO, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority, Changi Airport, Heathrow Airport, British Airways and Singapore Airlines.

Initially, the trials will test the air crew safety measures during flights between Singapore and the UK.

Measures that will be implemented include maintaining safe distancing, meeting the relevant customs, immigration and health requirements, maintaining good hand hygiene and decreased interactions with passengers.

In addition, air crew will stay at their accommodation during flight layovers at the respective countries.

These measures have been created under the ICAO CART guidelines and have been modified to meet the requirements of each state.

Participating parties will collect the data for all phases of the flights. The three partners will then analyse and review the data to increse the guidelines where necessary.

CAAS director-general Kevin Shum said: “Singapore is pleased to participate in the trials. The ICAO CART ‘Take-off’ guidance document offers a set of guidelines for coordinating the international aviation community’s steps towards recovery and to build up public confidence for international travel.

“These guidelines take a flexible and pragmatic approach by focusing on what makes operational and economic sense, bearing in mind that different countries would face different conditions, risks and risk tolerance. The trials will help validate and improve the processes, where needed.”

UK Civil Aviation Authority CEO Richard Moriarty said: “Aviation is an inherently international industry, so it is critical that we collaborate closely with our partners around the world to address the challenges presented by Covid-19.

“The UK CAA is therefore very pleased to be contributing to these trials. Ultimately, this work should help keep aviation as safe as possible for both passengers and crew throughout the current pandemic.”

The measures are incorporated into the regional implementation planning in aid of the ‘Public Health Corridors’, which will be launched by ICAO.