Private Jet Charter: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel and Aircraft Operational Considerations

Coronavirus Private Jet Charter

Private Jet Charter and COVID-19

It’s a complicated time for travel. Commercial flights canceled, travel advisories, and more daily updates associated with the recent outbreak of COVID-19 Coronavirus in countries around the world.

At JetOptions Private Jets, we are working closely with our clients to keep everyone’s security foremost in our methods. From taking steps such as advising our clients on airport selection to working with operations on cleaning and other safety elements onboard aircraft.

COVID-19 Jet Charter

The demand for private jets is increasing due to factors including an uptick in community transmissions of COVID-19 in the United States. If you need to travel, a private jet charter can keep you away from crowded airports, security lines, and commercial planes.

Remember, when you charter at JetOptions, you are flying only with selected passengers onboard your aircraft. There are no strangers seated in the seats and aisles around you. You also board your aircraft in a separate private travel terminal (FBO), and can often drive up to your charter aircraft in the hangar or ramp side.

Our member association, The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), is closely monitoring the situation and providing guidelines from the CDC and the WHO for business aircraft operation during these difficult times. As members of ARGUS, Wyvern, the National Business Aviation Association, and the National Air Transportation Association, we are following the guidelines and best practices set forth by them.

The situation is extremely dynamic, and we review information from all sources to ensure awareness of the latest restrictions and provisions. The guidance that is available to date includes a bulletin published by the Carrier Liaison Program of US Customs and Border Protection, a DHS document, and a Presidential Proclamation. We also continuously monitor the FAA website that includes resources for air carriers.

Update:

The health and safety of the JetOptions family and our passengers is our top priority and International private jet travel is our area of expertise. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the JetOptions Private Jets team has been working on continued international operations while managing and mitigating risk associated with the virus and aviation travel.

Strategic Response & Mitigation

  • Response Team: Our team has implemented daily strategy sessions to stay on top of the most current news and regulatory travel recommendations and considerations.
  • Cross-Agency Compliance. We are actively monitoring and implementing recommended strategies from the following domestic and international agencies:
    1. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); US Department of State Travel; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the World Health Organization (WHO); and many others.
  • Partners & Vendors: Our team is facilitating active dialogue and synchronization of mitigation strategies to ensure alignment of proactive and preventative health and safety measures.
  • Technology: We are utilizing cross-department pre-flight risk technology that ensures flight crews are updated with real-time electronic risk mitigation updates.

Trip Evaluation: Get there with confidence.

With an ever-changing COVID-19 regulatory landscape, our operations and client service teams evaluate the feasibility of every trip during the quoting stages. We engage with local FBO’s, handlers, and governmental agencies to ensure our passengers and our crew are compliant with all local requirements.

Employee Hygiene

On the road or at the office, all JetOptions Private Jets employees are performing daily health check-ins as a proactive health quarantine measure in response to any illness. JetOptions has always embraced telecommuting. This has shown to improve work-life balance while retaining top industry talent. For these reasons, our team has maintained normal intra-organizational workflow with social distancing as a byproduct.

Flight Crew protocols: Attention to detail

Our flight crew practices the same level of attention to detail with our PPE practices as we do our exemplary service. Our passengers will be greeted by flight crew warmly, but from a distance wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

  • Our cabin service department has worked tirelessly to fine-tune VIP service while adhering to strict hygiene, sanitization, and PPE best practices.
  • Hygiene practices are in effect even when off-duty. Flight crew adheres to strict layover standards to minimize exposure.
  • Flight crews are routinely tested for COVID.

Aircraft Cleanliness

The JetOptions team will continue to utilize all resources to protect our people and passengers.

  • Our aircraft are professionally cleaned after every flight.
  • Aircraft are meticulously cleaned by the flight crew, before, during, and after a flight.
  • Each aircraft is stocked and sanitized with the commercial-grade disinfectant, specifically tested on commercial transport aircraft.

The below information is the NBAA Guidance and followed specific to the Bombardier Global Express 5000 with Serial Number 9717. Please contact us with any questions.

JETOPTIONS AIRCRAFT CLEANING REQUIREMENTS

If no symptomatic passengers were identified during or immediately after the flight:

  • Crews will follow routine operating procedures for cleaning aircraft, managing solid waste, and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)

If symptomatic passenger(s) are identified during or immediately after the flight, routine cleaning procedures should be followed, and additional enhanced cleaning procedures will be used as follows:

  • Clean porous (soft) surfaces (e.g., cloth seats, cloth seat belts) at the seat of the symptomatic passenger(s) and within 6 feet (2 meters) of the symptomatic passenger(s) in all directions. Clean porous (soft) surfaces (e.g. seat covers and carpet) by removing visible contamination if present and using appropriate cleaners that are compatible with aircraft surfaces and components in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. For items that can be laundered, use the warm setting and dry items completely on high heat.
  • Clean non-porous (hard) surfaces (e.g., leather or vinyl seats) at the seat of the symptomatic passenger(s) and within 6 feet (2 meters) of the symptomatic passenger(s) in all directions, including: armrests, plastic and metal parts of the seats and seatbacks, tray tables, seat belt latches, light, and air controls, cabin crew call button, overhead compartment handles, adjacent walls, bulkheads, windows and window shades, and individual video monitors. Clean non-porous (hard) surfaces with disinfectant products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims that are expected to be effective against the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and ensure these products are compatible with aircraft surfaces and components. All products will be used according to label instructions (e.g., concentration, application method, and contact time, PPE).
  • Clean lavatories used by the symptomatic passenger(s), including door handle, locking device, toilet seat, faucet, washbasin, adjacent walls, and counter.
  • Properly dispose of any items that cannot be cleaned (e.g., pillows, passenger safety placards, and other similar items as described below).

JETOPTIONS REQUIREMENTS FOR PPE DURING ENHANCED CLEANING

  • Disposable gloves that are recommended by the manufacturer of the disinfectant will be worn.
  • Disposable gowns will be worn while cleaning the cabin and lavatories.
  • If splashing is possible, eye protection, such as a face shield or goggles and facemask may be required according to the manufacture’s label.

GENERAL ENHANCED CLEANING PROCESS

Ground and cleaning crews will not board the plane until all travelers have disembarked. Ventilation systems should be kept running while cleaning crews are working aboard the airplane.

  • If visible contamination (e.g., a body substance such as blood or body fluids) is present, routine cleaning procedures will be followed based on blood or body substance spill management according to , 29 CFR 1910.1030.OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030.

JetOptions only works with operators that ensure workers are trained on the hazards of the cleaning chemicals used in the workplace in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200.

JetOptions requires trained ground and cleaning crews on and require that crew members demonstrate an understanding of when to use PPE, what PPE is necessary, how to properly don (put on), use, and doff (take off) PPE.

  • After removing PPE, the cleaning staff will immediately clean hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
  • Cleaning staff will immediately report breaches in PPE (e.g., tear in gloves) or any potential exposures (e.g., contact with blood or body fluids without wearing appropriate PPE) to their supervisor.
  • Cleaning staff will dispose of PPE and other disposable items used in cleaning following the airline’s routine procedures.
  • Ground crews assigned to wastewater management operations will follow routine procedures. Vendors will educate workers to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19 and provide instructions on what to do if they develop symptoms. Cleaning staff will immediately notify their supervisor if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.

 The following recommendations have been developed with NBAA members and professional aircraft detailers:

PRODUCTS

The products listed here are some options, but not the only options, that have been tested and proven safe for use on aircraft interiors. Additional disinfectants for use against COVID-19 can be found on the EPA’s website [https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2]. However, these products require testing on interior surfaces prior to full use.

  • Disposable medical grade gloves
  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • N95 respirator mask
  • Microfiber towels
  • Terry cloth towels • Aerospace wipes • Celeste Sani-Cide Disinfectant • Celeste Sani-Cide EX3 • Celeste Sani-Cide FSC • HaloMist

INTERIOR DISINFECTION PROCEDURES

Procedures are carried out by trained personnel. All manufacturer guidelines and instructions will be followed.

Ensure all crew and passengers have exited the aircraft. Adorn all personal protective equipment.

Use new microfiber and towel products when transitioning between sections of the aircraft. Do not transfer use from one area to another. Replace gloves, respirators and all towel products when moving to a different aircraft.

Galley & Kitchen Areas

  1. Aircraft galley and food prep areas should receive disinfection with Sani-Cide FSC. After 30 seconds of contact time, surfaces can be wiped clean with a new microfiber cloth. Surfaces are now ready for use.
  2. Trash bins will be emptied, and all garbage removed from aircraft.
  3. Mirrors, glass, and screens will be cleaned with Sani-Cide EX3.

Cabin Area

  1. Working in small areas, spray hard surfaces with Sani-Cide Disinfectant or EX3 and allow a contact time of 5 minutes prior to wiping clean with a microfiber cloth. Following disinfection, surfaces can be cleaned with an interior product to provide a final finish.
  2. Spray and wipe leather surfaces with EX3. Follow by cleaning with Perrone Leather Cleaner/Conditioner.
  3. Upholstery and carpet should be lightly misted with EX3 and allowed to air dry.

Lavatory Area

  1. Spray toilet area with EX3 or Disinfectant and allow the full contact time. Using disinfectant wipes or a similar cloth product, wipe all areas clean. Immediately dispose of cloths and gloves into a dedicated trash bin outside of the aircraft.
  2. Using new gloves, spray remaining hard surfaces in the lavatory area and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.

Flight Deck & Cockpit Area

Due to the delicate nature of instruments, screens, and components found in the cockpit area, crews should use approved procedures and products in accordance with OEM guidance.

Please contact our Charter Team with any questions that you may have regarding air charter reservations. We are here and ready to assist you by telephone or email 24-hours a day.

The JetOptions team attended: COVID-19 and Catering Best Practices: If you must conduct a mission in the current COVID-19 environment, you want to ensure that food-service standards are maintained on the aircraft and on the ground. What are operators doing to ensure such standards are preserved? This webinar featured experts in the field that covered catering considerations at this moment.

In our continuing effort to stay up to date with COVID-19 and its effects on business aviation, the JetOptions team attended: Maintaining Flight Department Readiness Amidst the COVID-19 Spread where we discussed how flight operations can maintain readiness for a mission in a moments notice and how to ensure crews are safe, fit for duty and ready to fly on a continuing basis.

JetOptions team attended the NBAA webinar: Best Practices for Cleaning and Disinfecting Business Aircraft in a COVID-19 Environment. We discussed the Aircraft Disinfection and Cleaning Procedures Guide with best-practices for sanitizing business aircraft produced by NBAA. The topic is particularly of focus given the spread of COVID-19. On this webinar, we discussed and asked questions about best-practices to the guide’s primary author, Tyler Harper with AEM Group International Logistics, as well as the director of client relations for a jet company, which has been directly involved in COVID-19 related sanitation. Also discussed were broad recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other authorities.

JetOptions attended the NBAA webinar: When COVID-19 Causes ‘ATC-Zero’ Disruptions: Planning Considerations. In light of recent, temporary COVID-driven ATC-zero moments, there is some chance that more of them will occur. JetOptions team learned:
What are the lessons already learned from those experiences?
What do the experts recommend in the way of alternate planning?
What resources does NBAA offer to provide real-time information on ATC developments?

As part of our continued educational effort regarding pandemic updates, the JetOptions team attended: Updated COVID-19 Guidance From Medical, International Ops Experts: An NBAA Webinar. Learned about the Federal Aviation Administration recently released new Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) outlining guidance for the aviation community – informed in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization – for limiting exposure and reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 onboard aircraft. Although the SAFO has been primarily developed for air carriers, the guidance has implications for passengers and crews in business aviation

A new Aircraft Disinfection and Cleaning Procedures guide is available to NBAA members in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic: Aircraft Disinfection and Cleaning Procedures Guide

NBAA has prepared a living resource to help you navigate #business #aviation operations during the global #COVID19 #pandemic. Check out the latest recommended travel restrictions: https://nbaa.org/aircraft-operations/safety/coronavirus/aircraft-operational-considerations-with-the-coronavirus/

NBAA, Other Aviation Groups Join in Combating COVID-19 Spread. With the United States facing unprecedented challenges from the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has joined forces with four other aviation groups to inform lawmakers the nation’s general aviation (GA) industry, including business aviation, is prepared to assist as needed to respond to the crisis. In addition to NBAA, the letter was signed by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; the General Aviation Manufacturers Association; Helicopter Association International, and; the National Air Transportation Association. Read the full letter (pdf).

Effective 11:59 p.m. EDT on March 16, 2020, a similar restriction goes into effect for aliens who have been physically present in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. Crew members and relatives of U.S. citizens are exempt.

On March 16, 2020, the European Commission recommended the EU member states apply a temporary restriction of non-essential travel from third countries into the Schengen area for 30 days. Travel by U.S. citizens to Europe would largely be prohibited during this restriction.

Effective at 11:59 p.m. EDT on March 13, 2020, the entry into the U.S. of all aliens, with certain exceptions, who have been physically present in the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, is suspended. Crew members and relatives of U.S. citizens are exempt.

 

JetOptions team attends NBAA COVID 19 seminar

JetOptions team attends NBAA COVID 19 seminar

In our continued effort to stay informed, educated and up to date with COVID-19 findings and its impact on business aviation our clients and employees, the JetOptions team has attended the latest NBAA seminar regarding Coronavirus and its Considerations for Business Aviation. We are following all protocols, best practices, and guidelines set forth by the CDC, FAA, NBAA, and NATA.

We are taking the following measures to ensure the health and safety of our clients and our teammates and best protect everyone from this virus.

  • We have additional disinfection procedures for our normal pre and post-flight activities. You will observe people cleaning our aircraft with gloves and other gear on. We are doing this work before and after every passenger flight. It is now normal.
  • To accommodate this extra task, we have added additional time to each scheduled flight. Our clients will notice no disruption to their schedules as we work to ensure the safety of each flight.
  • All our crews have been issued personal protective equipment to help protect you and them from inadvertent exposure. You may see them wearing gloves and other protective equipment during the loading and unloading of the plane.
  • On larger aircraft, dishes are sent into the FBO’s for high-temperature cleaning rather than onboard.
  • On larger aircraft, washing of cabin amenity (blanks, bedding pillows) after each use.
  • On larger aircraft, store clean bedding in closed sealed bags.
  • Removing decorative hand towels from lavatories (passengers should use disposable hand towels only).
  • Ensuring there is plenty of hand soap available in the lavatories and galleys.
  • All textiles such as blankets from smaller aircraft have been removed from our fleet to avoid accidental exposures.
  • Each aircraft is going through additional periodic deep disinfection.
  • Our crews have been trained on personal hygiene practices, disinfection procedures, appropriate social distancing, and awareness of illness indicators. Unfortunately, that means they won’t be greeting you with our customary friendly handshake.
  • Employees responsible for managing operations all have access to needed resources to take action from home or the office.
  • A “deep” on-call rotation allows for sustained support should issues arise and ensures that resources are available should individuals fall ill.

JetOptions puts the safety and well-being of its employees and clients at the forefront. Our “defense-in-depth” approach is expected to allow for uninterrupted service operation should the virus spread significantly.

You can be assured that as any other safety measures are suggested by experts that will ensure your safe travels they will be implemented. Our goal is to offer the highest level of safety during this extraordinary time. There is a fast-paced fluidity to this outbreak situation and the official morphing response to it. Rest assured that we are staying on top of it.

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