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Session 4: Dealing with the next SARS

This session examined how airlines have dealt with the impact of SARS and what lessons can be learned to help airlines survive in case a crisis like SARS arises again. It also presented the measured need to be in place and what areas of should a risk manager avoid.

Speaker Dr. Claude Thibeault, Medical Advisor, IATA presented the following measures that need to be implemented by an airline in such a case to eliminate and isolate hazards and minimize exposure. An airline facing such a threat must:

  • Have a basic plan and procedures

  • Have a good contact with the appropriate public health authorities

  • Use basic occupational health approaches to hazards

  • Establish a detailed plan to manage internal and external communication

  • Emphasize what is known in relation to the disease and provide passengers with maximum information

Speaker Dr. Ruwantissa I.R. Abeyratne, ICAO, concluded that the practical issues relating to such a threat are:

  • The airline liability cannot be easily determined

  • The conduct of airline after fact is relevant

  • Air transport should be safe and convince passengers of that