The recent outbreak of Coronavirus has brought attention to the role aviation has in everyone’s lives in the most unwanted of ways. i.e. as a carrier of infected people to parts of the world where the illness has not reached. But it also has positive benefits, i.e. it has allowed for the rapid evacuation of people away from the affected areas back to their homes, albeit with a period of quarantine.
Air travellers are now seen as a factor in the rapid transmission of infections and no doubt that is true, but we must not be lured into believing that if all aircraft were grounded the disease would not spread. It would, and this is proven by the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic which travelled around the globe quite quickly in a time before air travel and essentially the much-improved precautions that are applied today.
There are however risks for pilots operating aircraft that may, or may not be carrying infected people, as when en route we are all breathing the same air and are of course in relatively close proximity to one another. The reason I raise this is to reinforce what advice I hope your companies are giving you on hygiene and how to deal with anyone taken ill on board. If you have not had a briefing or advice on what to do, I suggest you ask for it before you operate again.
If any member has any concerns about operating where or in circumstances that they consider pose a heightened risk to them and have not received any advice from their employers, please contact us. Whilst we are not in any way medically qualified, we are prepared to take such an important matter up with companies who have a duty of care to all their staff and customers alike.
Remember as in all things aviation Prevention is better than Cure.