🔺Chairman’s Note * Covid Testing and Successfully Navigating the international Landscape
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
All signs point to a record-setting 2021 holiday travel season, exceeding pre-pandemic traffic numbers in many places! Last year was very busy and this year is forecast to be even busier!
Popular leisure destinations will be in high demand, and there is significant operator interest for travel to Asia-Pacific locations slated to reopen for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
Threatening the success of these missions this winter is the emergence of a fourth COVID wave sweeping across Europe and Asia in recent weeks.
Spiking case numbers, combined with high traffic, competition for services and parking on the ground, as well as the global supply chain backlog, will add significant complexity and risk to these missions.
For the foreseeable future, the absolute best way to ensure operational flexibility and reduce your risk is to plan ahead and lock in services early—and be armed with both a confirmed COVID vaccine and a COVID test.
COVID testing requirements are expanding.
While there was initial hope that vaccines would ease COVID testing requirements, it’s actually gone the other way.
Most countries now have some form of a COVID testing mandate for fully-vaccinated foreign nationals AND returning citizens. And we’re seeing emerging cases of testing requirements for select active crew—as in Canada.
Testing internationally isn’t without risk.
As I mentioned a few months ago, accessing a trusted testing center overseas throws an additional layer of complexity onto every itinerary.
For starters, you’re working off the lab’s schedule not your own. Arrangements must be made to safely access the lab or have a provider come to you. Sharing your personal information to unknown parties. And then there’s the anxiety of waiting for the results on the lab’s timeline. There’s also the risk of a false positive or inconclusive result, which means going through the whole testing process again for reconfirmation.
Mobile PCR / Onboard Aircraft Testing puts control in your hands.
The on-aircraft COVID testing program we developed with our partner, Cedars Health, an expert in mobile laboratory services, has proven to eliminate those challenges and, in many cases, save the mission
Since we first rolled out the service, Cedars Health has trained more than 100 crew members and is supporting many flight departments operating multiple N-registered aircraft.
Even though testing can be executed last-minute or even in flight, most operators run through the process at a planned, scheduled time— which takes about 45 min beginning-to-end (results included).
Cedars Lab can offer both PCR and lower-cost Antigen testing for arrivals back into the USA from nearby regions over the forthcoming busy holiday season.
This solution is highly personalized and works on your schedule, not the other way around. As a result, it’s a much better experience for your passengers.
And—in my opinion—a MUST HAVE as a primary way of testing, or at a minimum, as a back-up to have in your back pocket when other methods don’t go as planned.
I’m passionate about this service because I use it myself and know how much of a time and trip-saver it is.
You can read more about how it works here, or just send me a message with any questions.
Looking forward to supporting your next mission!
Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc.