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The Australian aviation sector's plan to return to the skies falls way short of community expectations. The industry's current level of inaction is symptomatic of the decision makers being paralysed by the fact that air-travel has been disrupted by invisible microbes and online meeting platforms. If the industry cannot restore the travelling public's confidence, then road-trip vacations will be the final nail in the coffin.
The lack of competition has assured that the market dominator sets the standard, and in this case it's based on providing the least amount of protect from coronavirus at the lowest possible cost. Needless to say, this is a false economy trap that public companies fall into to appease shareholders. It's a strategy that relies on hoping that the market will be sympathetic and rewards frugality when capital needs to be raised. This is a massive risk, since the market is asking, why are Aussie airlines not being proactive and tackling the crisis head-on, in similar ways to other airlines around the world.
Part of the reason Aussie airlines are on the back-foot are; a) the state controlled border closures and b) the Federal Government’s COVID-Safe Domestic Flying guidelines.
• Set the expectation that the virus will not be completely eliminated, but aim for total elimination.
• Accept that achieving elimination (or at best tolerable suppression) can only be achieved through implementing multiple solutions.
• Agree on a definition of total eliminations.
• Agree on a definition of tolerable suppression. e.g. 10 new cases or reinfections per day.
• Take the pressure off hospitals by establishing dedicated Covid-19 treatment facilities.
• Make it mandatory for passengers to complete a Coronavirus test 2-5 days prior to their departure date and allow the test results to be auto appended to the airline ticket. Any passenger with a positive test would then be prohibited from boarding.
• Provide easily accessible medical rooms within airport terminals that are staffed by medically trained personal, equipped to handle infected people.
• Employ real-time, automated temperature scanning and identification for people in the airport. Use AI to analyse temperature camera live feeds and extract photo of "hot" person for immediate posting on the billboards within the airport along with a request to immediately attend the nearest medical room within the airport terminal.
• Employ real-time, automated temperature checking for every passenger at the point of check-in.
• Equip airports with rapid coronavirus test kits to test suspect passengers.
• Equip airports with emergency isolation pods.
• Conduct rapid coronavirus tests on passengers, randomly and also on people respected of being infected or determined to be from a virus hotspot.
• Make it mandatory for passenger to wear a face covering (face-shield, mask, similar) whilst in the airport and on board the plane.
• Provide free facemask to passengers and airport visitors.
• Upgrade airport and airline personnel training to include virus transmission prevention.
• Include virus transmission prevention training in all inductions for airport support business staff, contractor, site visitors and ASIC applicants.
• UV Disinfect every flight prior to boarding.
• UV Disinfect gate lounges.
• Fit UV disinfection lighting to in-feed & out-feed baggage conveyors.
• Employ continuous disinfection solutions for high contact surfaces like escalator handrails.
• Fit UV disinfection into HVAC systems to keep them sterile whilst as the same time disinfecting the air.
• Employ far-UV roaming robots.
• Provide more and more easily accessible and easier to use hand sanitation devices.
I recommend the above as part of a broader strategy to recovery the entire economy. Entitled: We can beat Covid-19 Quickly
|Risk of contracting the coronavirus on a plane is actually very low|
|Courtesy: The Today Show by NBC Universal Media|
|Courtesy: Qatar Airways|
|United Airlines first to launch rapid COVID-19 testing program for travelers|
|Courtesy: ABC30, ABC Inc.|
|The CommonPass App - An initiative by the World Economic Forum|
|Heathrow airport offers pre-departure rapid Covid test for passengers|
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