International Civil Aviation Day is observed on December 7 to recognize the flight industry’s impact on modern life. On this day, we honor the significance of flying and are grateful for the numerous opportunities it has opened for everyone. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and a new wave is emerging, it is important to stay aware about the travel guidelines being followed around the world.
There’s no doubt in the fact that any impending flight travel will put you in close proximity to a large number of other people and many touched surfaces which can increase your risk of catching the virus. And given what we know about COVID-19, such as the idea that someone could be unwell without even realizing it, taking a flight these days can be a bit nerve-wracking.
In this blog, we’ll go through the history and significance of International Civil Aviation Day, as well as some quick travel tips to ensure safety during these trying times. So, let’s get started!
History of International Civil Aviation Day
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations specialized organization, designated December 7 as a day to commemorate the global impact of civil aviation. Flying has revolutionized tourism and the economy forever, not to mention the cultural ties that have been made possible.
In 1994, as part of ICAO’s 50th-anniversary celebrations, the first International Civil Aviation Day was conducted and in 1996, the United Nations General Assembly declared December 7 as Civil Aviation Day. They agreed to mark this day to highlight the importance of civil aviation in socio-economic development, as well as to acknowledge the unique role played by the International Civil Aviation Organization. ICAO is diligently assisting countries to work cooperatively and bringing a truly global transportation system to life.
With the adoption of Agenda 2030 by the United Nations, a vow to reduce pollution with the eventual goal of a new era in global sustainable development, the role of aviation as a global connectivity engine remains just as essential. As a result, the council chose the theme “75 Years of Connecting the World” for the 2019 celebrations, which will run until 2024, in honor of ICAO’s 75th anniversary.
International Civil Aviation Day is a day to celebrate the incredible abilities of mankind and to look forward to the future, as we continue to develop and bring civilizations closer together.
Why Civil Aviation Day is Important
Here are a couple of reasons why the efforts and diligence of the civil aviation is worth celebrating:
1. It Increases Employment Opportunities
Civil aviation encompasses much more than pilots and cabin crew. Commercial airlines, private aircraft, air traffic control, airport administration, manufacturing, maintenance, and many more branches make up the aviation business. Every year, the business supports around 10 million jobs in the United States alone.
2. It’s Super Innovative
The aviation industry has produced some of the most significant inventions of the 20th century and it continues to innovate. Airbus, for example, is currently developing its “Smarter Skies” initiative, intending to reduce flying times by 13 minutes per journey by 2050, saving nine million tonnes of excess fuel annually, and avoiding 28 million tonnes of needless CO2 emissions.
8 Travel Tips to Ensure Safety During COVID-19
You haven’t seen your friends or family in over a year, and you are longing to see them again. However, the prospect of boarding a plane fills you with dread.
Can you ensure health safety while traveling if you have been vaccinated? Is it necessary to get tested for COVID-19 before flying? Is it necessary to cancel your vacation because of the Omicron variant? If you have to commute during the pandemic, how can you ensure safe travels?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests delaying flights if you aren’t fully vaccinated due to the emergence of the Omicron variant and an increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States. However, if you have been vaccinated and are planning to fly, follow these travel tips to stay safe and healthy:
1. Get Vaccinated
Didn’t we just say something about vaccinations? Yes. Is it necessary to bring them up again? Absolutely.
One of the most crucial travel tips for everyone, regardless of their circumstances, is to be vaccinated. Getting vaccinated before flying reduces your risk of contracting COVID-19 and the severity of infection if you do.
If you haven’t been vaccinated, we advise you to delay travel until absolutely necessary. If you can’t postpone your journey, you should take a virus test one to three days before your travel, another test has to be taken three to five days after you reach, and self-quarantine for at least a week after you land. These instructions are as per CDC guidelines.
Wear a face mask, keep a safe distance, and wash your hands frequently whether or not you have been vaccinated. Before you depart, double-check the COVID-19 travel and testing regulations for your destination.
2. Pack Smart
While most cases of COVID-19 are transmitted through inhalation, minimizing the number of people and items who come into contact with your luggage will reduce your risk of infection.
If you’re taking food, place it in clear ziplock bags in the security bins to limit the chances of security officers having to open your carry-on and search your belongings. To avoid any contact between your high-touch personal possessions and the security boxes, slide your phone, ID, and any loose object from your pockets inside your bag.
When going through security, minimizing the surfaces you and your belongings contact is important for ensuring safe travels. Carrying a pandemic travel kit on the flight will ensure that you are equipped for any health or safety issues that may come up. For occasions where you need a new mask or to sterilize your hands or surroundings, bring extra masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfection wipes.
3. Don’t Forget To Wear A Mask
Wearing a mask is one of the most effective COVID-19 travel tips and needless to say, this holds true for air travel as well.
A mask that fits snugly on your nose and the sides of your face is ideal. An N95, a KN95, or a clean cloth mask with numerous layers are all viable solutions. Considering removing your mask to eat or drink? It’s advisable to leave it in place for ensuring safe travels.
When on family travel, plan shorter journeys and eat and drink before you head to the airport to prevent having to remove your mask. If you need to get a drink or eat a light snack, do it in the airport (not on the plane) and away from other passengers. Also, if you remove your mask for any reason, or if it becomes dirty or damp, replace it with a new one.
4. Wash Your Hands Regularly
As flu is spread through air and touch, many of the same guidelines that apply to COVID-19 prevention also apply to the flu. Since the flu spreads most quickly when someone coughs or sneezes on you, you can catch it if somebody is sick within 6 feet of you — about two rows on an airline.
The flu can also be transferred through the air when someone breathes out flu particles and the major method the coronavirus transmits is through inhaling virus-carrying respiratory droplets. While masking helps minimize your exposure to particles from sick people in crowded and cramped settings, there are other travel tips we recommend.
Using a hand sanitizer or frequent hand washing are the best options to go for in order to ensure safe travels. Because the flu and other seasonal colds infect you when they get into touch with your eyes, mouth, and nose, they are contagious. You’ll dramatically lower your risk of getting sick if you can wash or disinfect your hands before touching your face or eating, in addition to wearing a mask.
5. Sanitize Airplane Surfaces
Have you noticed the tray table you’re using? What about the armrest you’re resting your elbow on? Or how about that seatback pocket where you’ve stowed your phone?
On these shared surfaces, some extremely dangerous microbes live. Worse, these germs can stay for up to a week without causing any issues. Though the coronavirus is mostly disseminated by respiratory droplets, it can also survive on plastic surfaces such as your tray table, lasting roughly three days on a non-porous surface. We recommend bringing wipes in your carry-on bag so you may quickly clean the areas around your seat as well as the plane surfaces that are frequently touched.
6. Stay Hydrated
It’s best to drink plenty of water before boarding in order to keep your mask in place.
According to the World Health Organization, the humidity level inside an airplane is around 10% lower than it is at home. Because low humidity causes evaporation of moisture faster from your body, you may experience irritated eyes, a parched mouth, or dry skin.
You can also bring along stuff like eye drops and lotion to be moisturized and feel more at ease — just make sure to sterilize or wash your hands first.
7. Wear Minimal Contact Clothing
It is recommended that you cover as much of your body as possible. You can wear goggles as a protective layer over your eyes and socks to keep your feet from contacting the airport floor during security procedures.
8. Maintain Distance
You may have heard this travel tip more often: “maintain social distance in public places”, especially places like airport terminals but bear in mind that 6 feet is the absolute minimum distance to maintain. In this pandemic, you can never go wrong by maintaining as much physical distance between yourself and others as possible. For ensuring safe travels, try to keep a few feet away from other people as much as you can.
A Word from HealthKart
The more COVID-19 safety measures we implement, the more we will all be able to see our loved ones and go to new places. So, on this International Civil Aviation Day, follow these travel tips, get yourself vaccinated, keep your mask on, and embark on a safe journey!