Virgin Atlantic to Test Cabin Crew and Pilots for COVID-19 at Least Once a Month

Photo Credit: Virgin Atlantic

Beleaguered airline Virgin Atlantic is to test all of its cabin crew and pilots for COVID-19 at least once a month as part of measures to “instil confidence” in the safety of air travel. The airline, which is majority-owned by Sir Richard Branson, however, warned the move would do little to increase ticket sales without a system to replace draconian quarantine rules with mass COVID-19 passenger testing.


Pilots and cabin crew have been taking part in a trial of rapid pre-flight COVID-19 testing since September 30 on flights to Hong Kong and Shanghai. Both of these destinations require crew to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate before being allowed entry.


The plan is now to extend rapid testing to other destinations that require negative tests for crew members, as well as those where such requirements don’t currently exist. In effect, it would mean that all crew would be tested for COVID-19 at least once per month.


Testing would be mandatory for certain destinations.
The move follows a similar initiative developed by shareholder Delta Air Lines. The Atlanta-based airline has now tested every member of staff for the novel Coronavirus and plans to roll-out mass rapid testing in the near future.
Results from the mass-testing program, Delta claims, shows that cabin crew are less likely to succumb to COVID-19 than the general public. The airline put that down to safety measures like mandatory mask-wearing rules and enhanced aircraft cleaning.


Last week, Air Canada also announced plans to roll-out mass rapid COVID-19 testing for staff members on a voluntary basis. The airline is using the Abbott rapid ID NOW testing system that can produce results in as little as 15-minutes.
On Monday, the South African government had to clarify rules for flight crew entering the government after Emirates apparently cancelled some services over confusion with new COVID-19 travel restrictions. While passengers must present a negative test certificate dated within 72-hours of travel, this will no longer be a requirement for cabin crew.
They won’t, however, now be allowed to leave their hotel rooms as part of preventative measures.

Link: https://www.paddleyourownkanoo.com/2020/10/05/virgin-atlantic-to-test-cabin-crew-and-pilots-for-covid-19-at-least-once-a-month/

Pesawat Garuda Pakai Masker, Dukung Kampanye Pemerintah

Garuda Indonesia meluncurkan pesawat dengan corak visual bermasker pada bagian depan pesawat Airbus A330-900 Neo.
Garuda Indonesia meluncurkan pesawat dengan corak visual bermasker pada bagian depan pesawat Airbus A330-900 Neo.(Dok. Garuda Indonesia).

Jakarta, CNN Indonesia — 

PT Garuda Indonesia (Persero) Tbk meluncurkan livery atau corak khusus yang menampilkan visual masker pada bagian depan pesawat Airbus A330-900 Neo.

Direktur Utama Garuda Indonesia Irfan Setiaputra mengatakan peluncuran livery masker pesawat ini merupakan bentuk dukungan terhadap program edukasi pemerintah melalui kampanye ‘Ayo Pakai Masker’.

“Kebanggaan tersendiri bagi kami menjadi maskapai penerbangan nasional pertama di Indonesia yang menampilkan livery khusus pesawat dengan masker. Hal ini juga sejalan dengan komitmen dalam mengedepankan aspek keselamatan dan kenyamanan penumpang di masa adaptasi kebiasaan baru,” ujar Irfan melalui keterangan resminya, Kamis (1/10).

Irfan memaparkan total pesawat yang akan menggunakan livery bermasker sebanyak 5 armada. Lima pesawat ini akan melayani rute penerbangan domestik maupun rute penerbangan internasional, termasuk destinasi penerbangan Singapura dan Jepang.

Lebih lanjut, dalam rangka mengoptimalkan kampanye penggunaan masker tersebut, Garuda Indonesia akan menyelenggarakan kompetisi desain livery masker pesawat bertajuk ‘Fly Your Design Through The Sky’ yang sepanjang Oktober 2020.

Sementara itu, Ketua Komite Penanganan covid-19 dan Pemulihan Ekonomi Nasional (KPCPEN) Erick Thohir mengungkapkan apresiasi terhadap inisiatif tersebut.

Irfan memaparkan total pesawat yang akan menggunakan livery bermasker sebanyak 5 armada. Lima pesawat ini akan melayani rute penerbangan domestik maupun rute penerbangan internasional, termasuk destinasi penerbangan Singapura dan Jepang.

Lebih lanjut, dalam rangka mengoptimalkan kampanye penggunaan masker tersebut, Garuda Indonesia akan menyelenggarakan kompetisi desain livery masker pesawat bertajuk ‘Fly Your Design Through The Sky’ yang sepanjang Oktober 2020.

Sementara itu, Ketua Komite Penanganan covid-19 dan Pemulihan Ekonomi Nasional (KPCPEN) Erick Thohir mengungkapkan apresiasi terhadap inisiatif tersebut.

Link: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/ekonomi/20201001183642-92-553379/pesawat-garuda-pakai-masker-dukung-kampanye-pemerintah

Saat Lima Pesawat Garuda “Pakai” Masker…

Livery “Ayo Pakai Masker” pesawat Garuda Indonesia A330-900 neo PK-GHG di Hangar 2 GMF AeroAsia.
Livery “Ayo Pakai Masker” pesawat Garuda Indonesia A330-900 neo PK-GHG di Hangar 2 GMF AeroAsia.(Twitter Garuda Indonesia)

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Banyak cara yang bisa dilakukan untuk mendukung program edukasi pemerintah melalui gerakan “Ayo Pakai Masker”. Garuda Indonesia misalnya, menampilkan visual masker pada bagian hidung pesawat jenis Airbus A330-900 Neo. Foto pesawat Garuda Indonesia “pakai” masker itu diunggah akun Twitter resmi maskapai BUMN tersebut @IndonesiaGaruda, Kamis (1/10/2020). Sontak saja foto itu dibanjiri pujian para netizen. “Keren!!!,” tulis akun @bimaevans.

Direktur Utama Garuda Indonesia Irfan Setiaputra mengatakan, Garuda Indonesia terus mendukung berbagai upaya yang dilaksanakan pemerintah dalam mencegah penyebaran Covid-19. “Menjadi kebanggaan tersendiri bagi kami menjadi maskapai penerbangan nasional pertama di Indonesia yang menampilkan livery khusus pesawat dengan masker,” ujar Irfan dalam keterangan yang diterima Kompas.com, Senin.

Irfan menambahkan, pihaknya menyadari bahwa upaya pencegahan penyebaran pandemi Covid-19 tentunya memerlukan dukungan penuh dan peran aktif berbagai pihak. “Kiranya dengan dengan upaya yang kami lakukan tersebut dapat turut meningkatkan kesadaran masyarakat akan penerapan protokol kesehatan dalam kehidupan sehari-hari, khususnya melalui penggunaan masker,” kata Irfan.

Irfan menjelaskan, ada lima pesawat milik Garuda Indonesia yang bagian depannya menampilkan visual masker. Nanntinya, pesawat-pesawat tersebut akan melayani rute domestik maupun internasional, termasuk rute Singapura dan Jepang.

Sementara itu,  Ketua Komite Penanganan COVID-19 dan Pemulihan Ekonomi Nasional (KPCPEN) Erick Thohir mengungkapkan apresiasinya terhadap inisiatif yang dijalankan Garuda Indonesia tersebut. ”Apresiasi setinggi-tingginya dari Komite kepada Garuda Indonesia yang ikut berperan aktif mensosialisasikan penggunaan masker dengan cara yang unik. Rencananya selain di dalam negeri, akan juga ada rute yang ke luar negeri. Hal ini sangat baik, agar masyarakat dunia juga tahu, bahwa Indonesia menomor satukan penanganan kesehatan,” ungkap Erick.

Selain penggunaan masker, Garuda Indonesia juga memastikan protokol kesehatan berjalan optimal pada seluruh lini operasional penerbangan. Misalnya melalui prosedur pengaturan jaga jarak antar penumpang, penggunaan alat pelindung diri (APD) bagi crew yang bertugas, penyediaan makanan dalam wadah sekali pakai dan penyajian dengan tanpa kontak erat.

Selain itu ada juga kegiatan disinfeksi kabin pesawat yang dilakukan secara rutin serta melalui edukasi terhadap penumpang terkait sistem filtrasi udara di pesawat yang mampu menyaring debu, partikel dan virus hingga mencapai 99,97 persen.

Lebih lanjut dalam rangka mengoptimalkan kampanye penggunaan masker tersebut, Garuda Indonesia menyelenggarakan kompetisi desain livery masker pesawat bertajuk “Fly Your Design Through The Sky” yang dilaksanakan sepanjang bulan Oktober 2020.

Melalui gelaran kompetisi tersebut, Garuda Indonesia turut memberikan kesempatan kepada masyarakat untuk menampilkan hasil kreativitas dan desain livery masker pesawat melalui platform media sosial yang nantinya desain masker livery terbaik akan dipilih untuk dapat digunakan Garuda Indonesia pada pesawat lainnya.

Artikel ini telah tayang di Kompas.com dengan judul “Saat Lima Pesawat Garuda “Pakai” Masker…”, Klik untuk baca: https://money.kompas.com/read/2020/10/01/182941426/saat-lima-pesawat-garuda-pakai-masker?page=all#page2.
Penulis : Akhdi Martin Pratama
Editor : Yoga Sukmana

Ground-breaking safety protocol has successfully allowed pilots with diabetes to work

A new study presented at this year’s Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) shows that the introduction of a new safety protocol has successfully enabled people with insulin-treated diabetes to work as commercial pilots, and could potentially allow individuals with the condition to perform other “safety-critical” jobs such as bus drivers or maritime workers.

The study was conducted by Dr Gillian Garden and colleagues at the Department of Metabolism and Ageing, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK, as well as researchers and industry professionals from universities and civil aviation authorities in the UK, Ireland, and Austria. Its goal was to evaluate the performance and safety impact of a new protocol that enabled certificated pilots with insulin-treated diabetes to fly commercial aircraft for the first time.

Strict health requirements are imposed on pilots and air crew to ensure a very high standard of safety and minimise the risk of a commercial aircraft carrying passengers from being involved in a potentially catastrophic accident. The risk of hypoglycaemia in people with insulin-treated diabetes has for many years debarred them from working in certain ‘safety-critical’ jobs, including flying commercial airliners. Hypoglycaemia occurs when blood glucose becomes too low and can cause potentially very hazardous side effects including dizziness, reduced cognitive performance, memory problems, shaking, blurred vision, confusion, and in the worst cases, unconsciousness and eventually death. Further complications that can result from diabetes can reduce flying performance such as retinal damage, which can lead to sight loss, and nerve damage which can cause pain or loss of sensation, particularly in the feet.

The UK, together with Ireland and Austria introduced a ground-breaking safety protocol for certificated pilots with insulin-treated diabetes, and now have the largest number of people in the world with the condition working as commercial pilots. Anyone with diabetes is subjected to strict oversight including glucose monitoring during duty periods, and frequent clinical health reviews.

The team performed an observational study of 49 pilots with insulin-treated diabetes who had been granted medical certification to fly commercial (Class 1 certificate) and non-commercial (Class 2 certificate) aircraft. Clinical details, pre and in-flight (hourly and 30 minutes pre-landing) blood glucose values were compared with the protocol-specified ranges: ‘Green’ (5-15mmol/L), ‘Amber’ (low 4-4.9mmol/L, high 15.1-20mmol/L), and ‘Red’ (low <4.0mmol/L, high >20.0mmol/L).

This “traffic light” system classifies blood glucose levels as “acceptable” (green), “caution” (amber), or “immediate action required” (red). In the case of a “red” low reading for example, the pilot is required to immediately hand over duties to the co-pilot or, if flying solo, consider landing as soon as is practical. They must also consume 10-15g of readily absorbed carbohydrate and re-test their blood sugar level after 15 minutes.

Participants in the study had either type 1 (84%) or type 2 (16%) diabetes and had been issued with Class 1 (61%), or Class 2 (39%) medical certificates. Most were male (96%), with a median age of 44 years, a median diabetes duration of 10.9 years, and a median follow-up period of 4.3 years after the receipt of their medical certificate.

Pilots had a mean glycated haemoglobin (HbA1C – a measure of average blood sugar over the previous 3 months) level of 55.0 mmol/mol (7.2%), and a post-certification mean of 55.1 (7.2%). A total of 38,621 blood glucose measurements were taken during 22,078 flying hours, of which 97.69% were within the ‘Green’ range, 1.42% within the low ‘Amber range and 0.75% within the high ‘Amber range. Only 0.12% of measurements fell within the low ‘Red’ range, and just 0.02% were within the high ‘Red’ range. Out of range readings declined from 5.7% in 2013 to 1.2% in 2019, while no episodes of pilot incapacitation occurred and none of the study participants showed a deterioration of their glycaemic control during the 7.5 years of the study. Use of a “traffic light” system provided a straightforward way of alerting pilots of the need to take preventive action to avoid impairment of performance or decision making that could arise from unduly high or low blood glucose levels.

The authors conclude that the protocol is practical and feasible to implement and has performed well. There were no reports of pilot incapacitation during flights, and no events occurred in which safety was compromised. They point out that this study represents the most extensive data set for people with insulin-treated diabetes working in a “safety-critical” occupation. The team suggest: “These data should help to inform the debate about whether people with insulin-treated diabetes can perform some safety-critical occupations, and similar safety protocols may be devised and tested for this purpose.”

The researchers note: “As a group, pilots are highly trained and well-motivated, and they generally manage their diabetes with considerable care. They are accustomed to frequently monitoring instruments during flight and had no problem accommodating additional glucose monitoring. In this study they were able to successfully balance close adherence to the protocol with maintenance of excellent long-term glycaemic control.” They also highlight: “Another facet of the protocol that should be noted is the ongoing surveillance for micro- and cardiovascular complications, which could adversely affect flying skills.”

Link: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-09/d-gsp092320.php