1. The impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been tremendous. Being faced with numerous air travel issues as a result of this pandemic, the ASEAN Air Transport Working Group (ATWG) members continue to find ways to address emerging issues by adopting a “new normal” to ensure a coordinated approach in air transport.
2. ATWG members fully supported the guidelines and recommendations published by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to restart aviation safely in a phased approach. ICAO is the appropriate body to develop standards and recommended practices for international aviation to ensure global alignment to the best extent. We encouraged all ASEAN Member States to take guidance from these guidelines and recommendations to implement measures that enable the safe and orderly recovery of the civil aviation sector. We recognise that the measures need to be consistent and harmonised to the maximum extent appropriate, yet flexible enough for States to implement based on the different stages of outbreak, risk-assessment and risk-tolerance.
3. Being mindful of the importance and necessity to have a quick information sharing among ASEAN Member States in this trying times, particularly in the timely and transparent exchange of information on real time situation and sharing of best practices among ASEAN Member States to effectively respond to COVID-19, ATWG members have formed ATWG Quick Information Exchange Group through a secure IT platform.
4. Noting that Public Health Emergency issues related to COVID-19 and border control / immigration measures do not fall directly under ATWG, we encouraged Civil Aviation Authorities of ASEAN Member States to keep up with the good momentum in close coordination with respective competent ministries and agencies to facilitate the health, safety and security of travelling public.
5. ATWG members attended the Forty-ninth ASEAN Senior Transport Officials Meeting (49th STOM) held on 17 June 2020 via video conference where ASEAN Member States shared the policy responses and measures at the national and regional levels related to transport sector on COVID-19. ATWG, in its capacity as one of the STOM working groups, is committed to strengthen its collective effort in restoring air transport connectivity progressively taking into account the appropriate, practical and realistic measures, with the necessary safeguards in place to ensure public health.
6. ATWG members agreed to hold virtual ATWG meeting in the beginning of Q3 2020 to further discuss ongoing implementation of milestones of the Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan (KLTSP) 2016-2025 as well as new issues of concern such as the gradual re-opening of air transport in an efficient, safe, secure, and sustainable manner. The 2nd ATWG Meeting for 2020 would be convened in Q4.
7. Finally, we agreed on the need to join hands as we work together to better facilitate and strengthen the regional and global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and help ASEAN to become stronger and more resilient.