Air Safety Organization Coronavirus Updates

Aeromedical Conference Call—February 6, 2020
Hosted by ASO Aeromedical Chair Ellen Brinks (DAL)

  • ALPA is continually updating information on the COVID-19 outbreak on this webpage, which should be the first source of information for ALPA members. Inaccurate information is being disseminated from some quarters, and that should be avoided.
  • FAA and CDC issued interim health guidance for airlines and crews on February 2, which members are encouraged to read.
  • Measures have been implemented at three international airports in Canada (i.e., Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver) to identify any travelers returning to Canada who may be ill and raise awareness among travelers about what they should do if they become sick.
  • ALPA’s Pilot Assistance group and Engineering and Air Safety Department reps submitted numerous questions to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for a February 4 call that DOT sponsored with Health and Human Services, and Department of Homeland Security. Those questions and their answers are on this page in the section “U.S. Government Answers to ALPA Concerns.”
  • Pilots are reminded to report deaths and sick passengers onboard to the appropriate authorities. Details are available from the CDC
  • It was noted that Air Canada, American, Delta, and United have all suspended flights to China or its major cities until February 29, March 27, April 30 and March 28, respectively. FDX has opted to continue operating in China.
  • Hong Kong authorities have announced a mandatory quarantine for individuals entering the country who have been in mainland China within the previous 14 days beginning February 8. ALPA is endeavoring to determine whether the quarantine applies to crewmembers.
    • UPDATE: On February 7, the Hong Kong government issued guidance on the quarantine that exempts airline pilots but requires them to wear masks and have their temperatures taken while in HKG.
  • In a joint industry letter, which ALPA spearheaded, we asked FAA Administrator Dickson in December to quickly implement a congressionally mandated regulation that permits crews to abstain from donning an oxygen mask when one crewmember is away from the controls, up to FL410. ALPA is developing another such letter with industry that emphasizes the health risks associated with the COVID-19 in this regard.
  • The ASO is reviewing aircraft and personal protective equipment standards as related to mitigating the risk of the COVID-19.