In the airline industry, health-related issues concerning passengers or crew are crucial in most activities: aircraft operations, passenger transport, cargo, etc. They cover matters as diverse as duty time limitation, transmission of communicable diseases, and disinfection.

Visit our communicable diseases​ page for information on how we're supporting the aviation sector and WHO's effort to manage all outbreaks of communicable that may represent a public health emergency of international concern.

Check-out our Travelers & IATA section for practical tips on how to stay fit when traveling by air.

IATA's Medical Advisory Role

IATA has set up a structure to contribute to an efficient and cost effective approach to handling medical issues in the airline industry.

In addition to the expertise of IATA's Medical Advisor, IATA has formed a Medical Advisory Group bringing together airline medical experts from around the globe. A major part of their role is to provide advice to the industry and other stakeholders on a wide range of medical issues, such as those covered in the IATA Medical Manual.

Guidelines on Health & Safety Issues

A series of guidelines have been developed by IATA's Medical Advisory Group, addressing general medical issues and aviation and communicable diseases. The guidelines are meant to help airlines address emergency public health issues, particularly in the case of suspected communicable diseases. When appropriate and relevant, they have been reviewed and welcomed by WHO.

Guidance for the item below has been incorporated into the Cabin Operations Safety Best Practices Guide.  A copy can be obtained from the IATA online store. 

  • Managing medical emergencies

Passenger Contact Tracing

IATA has developed a position on the controversial issue of passenger contact tracing (pdf) to recommend a specific approach to countries contemplating contact tracing.

Allergen-Sensitive Passenger

Recommendations for allergen-sensitive passengers (pdf) helps passengers minimize the risk of an allergic reaction on board an aircraft.