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                                   Communicable Diseases and Air Travel:
                                   The APAC Perspective
                                                         N.C. Sekhar joined   In 2006, ICAO established the                          Aviation Medicine Team (RAMT) has
                                                         the ICAO APAC        Cooperative Agreement for Preventing                   now been established by the SCM.
                                                         Office in            the Spread of Communicable Diseases
                                                         November 2006        through Air Travel (CAPSCA) aimed at                   Three RAMT meetings have also taken
                                                         as Regional          reducing the risk of spreading avian                   place in Bangkok: one in October 2007;
                                                         Officer/AGA.         influenza and similar communicable                     the next in Sept 2008; and the most
                                                                              diseases by air travelers through                      recent in September 2009. The Fourth
                                                                              cooperative arrangements between the                   Meeting of the CAPSCA Steering
                                                                              participating States/Administrations                   Committee and Workshop/Seminar on
                                   The spread of severe acute respiratory     and airports. This would be achieved                   Aviation Business Continuity Planning
                                   syndrome (SARS) in 2003 raised             initially by the application and                       was held recently in Kuala Lumpur,
                                   concerns for ICAO, the World Health        implementation of ICAO guidelines.                     Malaysia, from 24–26 May 2010.
                                   Organization (WHO) and a number of
                                   States and Special Administrative          The CAPSCA project provides on-site                    The next major event in this field will be
                                   Regions (SARs) in South East Asia.         training in the public health domain at                the Global RAMT from October 15–16
                                   This led to the development and            major international airports in                        2010. It will be held at the Singapore
                                   implementation of Anti-SARS protective     participating States. ICAO guidelines for              Aviation Academy and will aim to
                                   measures and guidelines at certain         States are available via the ICAO Web                  ensure the worldwide coordination of
                                   airports as a means of controlling the     site. To date, China, Hong Kong China,                 technical CAPSCA project activities.
                                   disease and preventing its spread          Indonesia, Macao China, Malaysia,
                                   through air travel. The SARS outbreak      Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea,                     ICAO has developed a template for a
                                   had devasting effects on air traffic to,   The Philippines, Singapore, The                        National Aviation Preparedness Plan,
                                   from and within the affected areas.        Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tonga, and                  which will be presented at the
                                                                              Vietnam have joined this cooperative                   upcoming APAC Regional Aviation
                                   The onset and widespread effects of        arrangement.                                           Medicine Team Meeting in October
                                   avian Influenza in 2005 raised even                                                               2010. ICAO will continue to work with
                                   greater concerns regarding the             The first Steering Committee Meeting                   airline and airport operators,
                                   possibility of a human pandemic. The       (SCM) of CAPSCA was held in Hong                       international organizations, experts and
                                   unpredictable behavior of this influenza   Kong China in August 2007, the second                  governments to ensure that
                                   virus was a challenge, as neither          SCM was held in Indonesia in June                      involvement and coordination continues
                                   the timing nor the severity of the next    2008, and the third SCM was held in                    regarding preparedness for pandemic
                                   pandemic could be predicted with           Macao China in June 2009. A Regional                   influenza and to maintain the continuity
                                   any certainty.                                                                                    and safety of air travel in general.

                                   ICAO’s Global and Regional Initiatives
                                                                               RECENT CHANGES TO HEALTH-RELATED ICAO PROVISIONS

                                   Article 14 of the Chicago Convention on     ■■   Annex 6—Operation of Aircraft                         Preparatory action plans should include
                                   International Civil Aviation requires            An aeroplane shall be equipped with                   Public Health Emergencies.
                                   each contracting State to take effective         accessible and adequate medical                  ■■   PANS-ATM
                                   measures to prevent the spread of                supplies. On board medical supplies                   Communications procedures with
                                   communicable diseases by means of                should include a ‘Universal Precaution Kit’.          affected aircraft.
                                   air navigation. ICAO, in coordination            Annex 9—Facilitation                                  Annex 14—Aerodrome Design and
APAC Regional Report – 2010

                                                                               ■■                                                    ■■

                                   with its Member States, has developed            A Contracting State shall establish a                 Operations
                                   Preparedness Planning Guidelines                 National Aviation Plan in preparation for             The Aerodrome Emergency Plan shall
                                   (Aviation Aspects) for a Communicable            an outbreak of a communicable disease                 provide for the coordination of the actions
                                                                                    posing a public health risk or public health          to be taken in an emergency occurring
                                   Disease of Public Health Concern to
                                                                                    emergency of international concern.                   at an aerodrome or in its vicinity. The
                                   prevent the spread of avian influenza
                                                                               ■■   Annex 11—Air Traffic Services                         action plan should include public health
                                   and similar communicable diseases by
                                                                                    Air Traffic services authorities shall develop        emergencies.
                                   air travelers and to mitigate the
                                                                                    and promulgate contingency plans.
                                   socio-economic consequences.


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