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Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention & Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation

The Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA)Programme was established by both the ICAO and World Health Organization following the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 which resulted in major reduction in air travel in Hong Kong and the threat of H5N1 in 2005, this resulted in both UN Agencies agreeing to enforce Article 14 of the ICAO Convention and amended Annex 6, 9, 11, 14 and 18 most of which came into effect in October 2009 and currently formed part of the ICAO audit checklist since 2013. The purpose of the CAPSCA Programme is to mitigate the risk of public health events such as communicable disease at a population level, among passengers and crew.

The aim is to also ensure mitigate the financial impact from an outbreak or pandemic through ensuring business continuity during the public health event. While ICAO focuses on the Annexes, the World Health Organization focuses on the International Health Regulations (2005). The success of the ICAO CAPSCA Programme depends on the implementation of the International Health Regulations of 2005 and the ICAO Annexes.

The CAPSCA Programme focus on ensuring that the following applicable to aviation but not limited to:

  1. State has an Aviation Pandemic Preparedness Plan to ensure coordinated effort between the  relevant stakeholders to respond to appropriately to a public health event of international concern. 
  2. Cabin Crew and Passenger Agents (check in) are trained to identify symptoms and signs and apply appropriate measure to protect themselves, passengers while containing the disease and deny access to board the aircraft when necessary.
  3. To ensure that the pilot in command communicates with the Air Traffic Controller who activates relevant stakeholders such as airports, public health authorities and others promptly to ensure containment of a suspected case and attend to the passenger and aircraft accordingly.
  4. To ensure that specimen and other dangerous goods are packed accordingly.

The SACAA conduct oversight at airports, airlines, charter operators, air traffic controllers and cabin crew training.

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