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Thomas Ashton Institute for Risk and Regulatory Research

COVID-19 Secure and Biosafe Air Transport (COSBAT)

8 July 2020

COVID-19 Secure and Biosafe Air Transport (COSBAT) is a multi-university proposal with the University of Cranfield and draws from expertise across the faculties at The University of Manchester, TAI and HSE.

The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has been cataclysmic for the aviation industry. However this is not the first global pandemic, nor even the first to impact aviation. The 2001 Foot and Mouth epidemic in Britain caused almost a year of total shutdown for General Aviation; the 21st century has seen separate international epidemics of influenza, cholera, SARS, MERS, and others. Covid-19 has been different only in terms of its massively greater international scale, but as such has created a clear and unavoidable imperative to develop ways in which this industry can function, at renewed international and commercial scales, viably and profitably.

It is already clear that there will be no return to “business as usual”, but equally responses in the past to terrorist threats have shown that the aviation community is capable of making rapid changes to ways of working when it needs to. However at present it lacks the tools with which to adapt.

Aircraft landing in a large city

This research proposes to form conclusions from kerbside to kerbside (K2K) of best practices that will unlock the ability of this commercially and socially critical industry to function safely. It will do so combining the procedural and technological issues associated with airport buildings and aircraft, and essential public health tools.

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