Second European meeting of the Cooperative Arrangement for the Prevention of Spread of Communicable Disease through Air Travel (CAPSCA)
The Second Meeting of the Cooperative Arrangement for the Prevention of Spread of Communicable Disease through Air Travel (CAPSCA) in Europe was held from 3 to 5 July 2012 at Frankfurt Airport, Germany.
The meeting was organised and conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in close coordination with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and with support from Fraport AG. Overall 71 participants from 29 States and 6 international organizations from public health and aviation sectors actively participated in the meeting.
The main objective of this forum was to bring together the public health and the transport sector to discuss emergency preparedness planning and response in aviation. CAPSCA is the world’s only Project which coordinates the international aviation response to public health risks, such as pandemics. In this regard, strengthened communications and coordination between public health institutions and the aviation sector is crucial not only intra but also inter-regionally.
States that have not yet joined this initiative can apply for the CAPSCA - Europe by sending a letter issued by either designated aviation authority and/or public health authority addressed to the ICAO EUR/NAT and/or WHO Regional Office for Europe. The CAPSCA Project membership does not require any financial contribution or charge to join it.
States are encouraged to prepare and update aviation public health emergency preparedness plans in collaboration with the civil aviation and public health authorities, and perform exercises to test such plans, in compliance with related ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and WHO IHR (2005).
ICAO and WHO (Regional Office for Europe) will send a letter to the designated aviation authorities, Ministries of Health and IHR National Focal Points, inviting States to join CAPSCA - Europe.
States’ Civil Aviation and Public Health authorities and other stakeholders should have a plan, exercise the plan, train, seek professional advice and be prepared for media enquiries during a public health event of international significance, based on information, statements, recommendations and support provided by WHO (Regional Office for Europe) and ICAO when applicable.
To promote international collaboration for IHR implementation, States and International Organizations should:
- harmonize regulations, standards, guidelines and tools and their global application;
- develop awareness of, and mobilize resources for, IHR implementation;
- foster human resources development and continuing education; and
- promote intersectorial collaboration, including travel, tourism, environmental, agricultural, veterinary and transport sectors.
The CAPSCA focus, in line with ICAO SARPs and WHO IHR (2005) also addresses chemical, biological and radio-nuclear risks, i.e. encompasses all potential public health emergencies that involve the aviation sector..
A request was made to have a special CAPSCA-Europe meeting for the Eastern European States (in Russian language) in one of the Central Asian States, in coordination with WHO (Regional Office for Europe). This was supported in principle by ICAO and WHO, dependent on available resources.
Germany was elected as the first State to chair CAPSCA-Europe. The chair will be in place for the next three years and the meeting thanked Germany for their excellent support of the CAPSCA project.
The next CAPCA-Europe meeting is provisionally planned for the week of 17 June 2013. The venue and exact dates will be decided later.
During the closing session the ICAO staff and participants have extended their gratitude to the German Federal Transport and Public Health Authorities as well as Fraport for the excellent arrangements and efficient and productive meeting.