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President’s Perspective

Meeting COVID-19’s International Challenges

The pandemic’s impact on travel has been felt acutely in international flying. Constantly changing COVID-19-related travel restrictions and requirements, which vary from country to country, make planning and executing a successful overseas business trip more challenging than ever.

That’s why NBAA continues to work diligently to help you stay on top of the array of evolving policies and proposals, from medical testing of aviation personnel, to quarantine requirements for passengers and crews, and all the other COVID-19-related issues that impact international air travel. From NBAA News Hour webinars to NBAA Flight Plan podcasts and numerous articles at our dedicated web resource – nbaa.org/coronavirus – we have worked to be your authoritative source.

Ever since the pandemic started, NBAA also has engaged with regulators and other government officials to ensure the needs of business aviation are considered when COVID-19 policies that impact our industry are crafted or modified.

For example, NBAA was among the groups that advocated for and won multiple extensions of SFAR 118-2, which provided short-term exemptions from training and proficiency requirements, medical certifications and other mandates. Other NBAA COVID-related initiatives involved clarifying the applicability to business aviation of certain government directives, including:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) face mask mandate for public transportation. (Yes, it does apply to air charter operators and FBOs.)
  • The CDC’s guidelines for transporting individuals who have COVID-19, or have been exposed to the coronavirus.
  • Evolving U.S. entry requirements for international and returning U.S. passengers.

As the number of people vaccinated steadily increases, and our country – and eventually the world – approaches “herd immunity,” many travel restrictions will be lifted. However, some mandates are likely to remain in place for some time to come, so NBAA will stay on top of the situation.

Meanwhile, the association will continue to pursue a host of international initiatives that were in place long before the pandemic, including:

  • Promoting the increased use and expanded availability of sustainable aviation fuels to help meet the industry’s long-term commitment to decrease its global carbon footprint.
  • Helping U.S. operators that fly to Europe comply with EASA’s Safety Assessment of Foreign Aircraft ramp-check program.
  • Continuing to work with the International Business Aviation Council to ensure that worldwide aviation standards promulgated by the International Civil Aviation Organization reflect business aviation’s needs.

As the pandemic subsides, overseas flying will return to previous levels because face-to-face interactions are vital to conducting business anywhere in the world. As NBAA member companies once again travel regularly outside the U.S., rest assured that your association will do all it can to facilitate safe, secure international air travel.

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