In June, 2020 the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published a review of aviation safety issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic the Agency has worked closely with Member State regulators and industry partners to continually monitor the safety situation so that guidance and safety promotion material has been able to evolve to the needs of the industry.
EASA has now published an updated review of safety issues to support the industry in their preparations for an increase in flying activity over the coming months. Organisations and Member States should evaluate the applicability of the safety issues listed in the review to their own organisation and, where applicable, capture them in their SMS. Safety issues are set out in the following areas:
- Management Systems
- Human Performance
- Training, Checking and Recency
- Outdated Information
- Infrastructure and Equipment
- Financial Impacts on Safety
The review identified the following new safety issues in addition to those previously identified:
- Unusual approach profiles in the pandemic circumstances (Unstable approaches)
- Increase of cyber-security issues related to the pandemic situation
- Transfer of pilots from one fleet to another resulting in low hours on type
- Maintenance of electrical systems and visual aids at aerodromes
- Decreased funding of aviation regulatory authorities
- Reduction in training effectiveness due to COVID-19 restrictions
- Rapid growth of cargo operations during the pandemic
- Reduction in Contracted Fees to Ground Handling Service Providers
- Knowledge transfer missed for new generation aviation personnel
- ANSPs returning to operations after being closed for several months
- Carriage of hand sanitiser in the cabin.
Further information on the review and material on individual safety issues can be found on the EASA Air Ops Community Site.