April 29, 2020

The FAA recently published Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) 20009, titled “COVID-19: Updated Interim Occupational Health and Safety Guidance for Air Carriers and Crews.” SAFO 20009 provides guidance for mitigating exposure risk and responding to COVID-19, and it supercedes two earlier alerts, SAFOs 20003 and 20001.

Download FAA SAFO 2009. (PDF)

SAFO 20009 includes four key points:

Monitor your health – Crew members should monitor themselves for fever, cough or shortness of breath and stay home or in their hotel room if they feel sick.

Protect yourself and others – Crew members should maintain a six-foot distance from other individuals whenever possible, limit exposure to the virus by staying at home or in their hotel rooms, and wash their hands frequently. Crew members should also consider wearing a mask and should always avoid contact with sick individuals.

Minimize crew member exposure – Use private ground transportation to move crew members from their homes or hotels to airports. Clean and disinfect aircraft surfaces carefully after each flight. Provide crew members with masks or cloth face coverings.

Develop a response plan – How will you manage a scenario in which a crew member is diagnosed with COVID-19 or shows symptoms of the coronavirus? How will you disinfect an aircraft if you learn a crew member or passenger is positive for the coronavirus?

“This SAFO provides helpful, updated guidance to aircraft operators and crew members for mitigating the risk of exposure to COVID-19,” said Hunter Watson, NBAA operations specialist. “The COVID-19 pandemic is an ever-changing situation, and medical experts are discovering more about the virus every day. The FAA continues to update its guidance as more information becomes available.”

NBAA will continue monitoring the situation for new information and will provide links to appropriate guidance on the association’s COVID-19 resource page.

Members should also reference NBAA’s Aircraft Disinfection and Cleaning Procedures (PDF).