WASHINGTON — Since the onset of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has worked proactively with other U.S. government agencies, air carriers, and aviation stakeholders to ensure the continued safe transport of critical medical supplies and personnel. As a result of the historic pace of vaccine development through Operation Warp Speed and careful logistics planning, the FAA today is supporting the first mass air shipment of a vaccine.
The FAA established the “FAA COVID-19 Vaccine Air Transport Team” in October to ensure safe, expeditious, and efficient transportation of vaccines. Several vaccines need continued cold temperatures during transport, which, in some circumstances, require dry ice, a hazardous material. The FAA is working with manufacturers, air carriers, and airport authorities to provide guidance on implementing current regulatory requirements for safely transporting large quantities of dry ice in air cargo.
In addition to mitigating safety risks related to the safe transport of vaccines, the FAA is ensuring around-the-clock air traffic services to keep air cargo moving and prioritizing flights carrying cargo, such as vaccines, and personnel critical to the nation’s response to and recovery from COVID-19.