‘Do we need to disinfect the dollies?’ and other top Covid-19 questions answered

4/2/2020

IATA releases quick reference guide offering operational advice and adjustments to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and minimize the risk of infection among handling teams

Ramp agents do not need special gloves when offloading cargo from Covid-19 affected countries or to carry out special cleaning regimes on GSE to combat coronavirus, according to updated guidelines from IATA.

The advice comes in a quick reference guide produced by the IATA Ground Operations Team, Medical Advisor and Medical Advisory Group in response to handling during the pandemic.

Pushback tugs, passenger steps and other GSE were “not considered to be a route of transmission of this disease” the guidelines state. Procedures for the handling of toilet and water waste should not change according to IATA.

However, operators should regularly sanitise passenger and crew buses using standard disinfectant agents. Cleaning regimes should target “all high touch areas likely to be contacted by a person unwell,” according to guidance.

On the topic of equipping employees with PPE, the guidelines states that protective face masks are not recommended when handling baggage and cargo from affected countries.

Operatives should be issued gloves only to protect them from mechanical hazards such as rough services, the IATA guidelines state. The document reinforces the need for good hand washing regimes to help combat the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, ASA – the ground handling industry trade association has released a compendium of government relief measures available to ground handlers in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The guide offers links to more information on support measures from policy makers in the US, Australia, Asia and Africa. Click here to view the guide.