This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged every aspect of life and industry on Earth.  The restrictions in Europe, the economic and human costs of this tragedy have yet to be absorbed. Typically, the aviation system provides a means to connect with those who are important to us at critical times in their lives. Now it is no longer so simple, it has been significantly disrupted, and many other barriers prevent us from being reunited with family and friends. Aviation, which is vital, has shifted its focus to essential medical supplies, so that they are sent where they are most needed, anywhere in the world. Cargo has been considered more important than passage.

Even cargo operations have improved, travel restrictions have meant that aviation, as an industry, as a service, as a means of bringing people in, has been one of the hardest-hit sectors of the economy. As the initial wave of the pandemic slowly comes under control, EASA is leading efforts to support the return to normal operations (RNO) that protects the traveling public, along with airport and airline personnel. By defining and coordinating efforts, the Agency is supporting the process to connect people and services while safeguarding health and safety.

Although the crisis is far from over, it is nevertheless necessary to plan for the resumption of our lives, albeit in a different way.

The construction of this new normality will be easier as a result of the robust nature of the EASA-led safety management system. The Agency has led work on identifying the specific safety issues of COVID-19, based on valuable input from the EU industry and national aviation authorities, and the results have been fully integrated into the EASA RNO project. Using the Agency's safety. Risk Management Process (RMP), safety issues are being collaborated assessed and adapted to effective risk mitigation, resulting in a safe risk portfolio that will be continuously monitored and refined. 

The information presented in the Annual Safety Review, along with this new work, are integral pieces of security intelligence to be used in identifying security priorities for Europe as set out in the European Plan.