American Flight Schools Response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak
American Flight Schools will remain open with enhanced procedures
MOST RECENT UPDATE: April 7, 2020
Per the order of the State of Colorado that was amended, the current restriction on dual flight instruction now remains in effect until April 26, 2020.
During these difficult and confusing times, information is changing daily in relation to the current public health situation. We continue to adjust our operations and operational procedures daily in accordance with both our state and federal governments. While the federal government has clearly stated that flight schools are an essential business and a part of the Critical Infrastructure of the National Security of the United States, the State of Colorado has requested that flight training stop during the state issued stay at home command which currently runs through April 11. While these 2 orders are in direct opposition to each other, we have decided to abide by the state request during these next 8 days. We continue to work with local and state officials to reverse their position and be in alignment with the federal guidance.
On April 1, 2020, the State of Colorado Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) CDPHE issued Public Health Order 20-24, a revision of the public health order related to the Coronavirus. While all public and private airports are classified as critical government functions, the State has issued further guidance on what does and does not qualify as a critical business. Note that the CDPHE website now has a list of essential and non-essential businesses, and flight schools are listed as non-essential.
You can find this order listed here: https://covid19.colorado.gov/stay-home-except-essential-needs
Colorado is on a statewide Stay-at-Home order. You should stay home as much as possible except for critical activities including: . Obtaining food and other household necessities including medicine
This order if effective immediately and will continue to be in effect until 11:59 pm April 11th. So currently, as of 5pm on April 3, 2020, we are temporarily suspending flight training operations to be in compliance with the State of Colorado’s order.
On Friday, 3/20, we were contacted by the Flight School Association of North America (FSANA), which recommended we abide by the spirit and intent of the federal government concerning their desire for maintaining critical infrastructure. The focus during this response is maintaining essential business and services that enable our country’s continued economic and social vitality. Our focus is not on business as usual, but in trying to sustain critical businesses and industries in our country. We were directed to the government website for the specific language concerning flight schools. See the link below on guiding and maintaining critical infrastructure.
This is from the official website of the Department of Homeland Security, specifically the page concerning Identifying Critical Infrastructure During Covid-19.
Go to Transportation Systems Sector then Sector Overview. First bullet point…
“Aviation includes aircraft, air traffic control systems, and about 19,700 airports, heliports, and landing strips. Approximately 500 provide commercial aviation services at civil and joint-use military airports, heliports, and sea plane bases. In addition, the aviation mode includes commercial and recreational aircraft (manned and unmanned) and a wide-variety of support services, such as aircraft repair stations,
fueling facilities, navigation aids, and flight schools.”
American Flight Schools takes concerns about COVID-19 very seriously. Among others, we have implemented the following processes, procedures, and policies to mitigate the risks of infection within our community of clients and staff.
American Flight Schools requires any community members with any acute respiratory infection or illness, to refrain from coming to the airport and engaging with other members of our community until cleared by a physician. Individuals that have been exposed to a known COVID-19 positive individual or who have recently traveled to a CDC Level 2 or 3 area should also refrain from coming to the airport and should self-quarantine for a period of at least 14 days to ensure no symptom development.
Community members with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis are not permitted at American Flight Schools until cleared by a physician.
American Flight Schools will not penalize a client or staff member for rescheduled training or staying away from the airport to reduce the risk to our community. We urge everyone to follow local guidance from health officials. We just ask that you keep us informed if you will not be showing for a flight, so we can plan accordingly.
To reduce the risk of infectious disease transmission within our aircraft and ATDs, we have implemented the following dispatch procedures to mitigate the risk to clients and instructors.
- Cleaning and disinfecting supplies are maintained at the dispatch desk.
- When the aircraft or ATD keys are dispatched, you should be offered a disinfecting wipe and a screen wipe. Disinfecting wipes may be used to clean major surfaces, controls, and knobs that may be touched during the flight. ONLY APPROVED SCREEN CLEANERS may be used on radio screens, touch screens, and EFIS displays. We are currently using CleanTex AllScreens Computer Screen Cleaner (833) wipes and
CleanTex Phone Wipes (806) to clean screens. They are essentially the same cleaning product with a different size cloth which we have tested on radio and EFIS screens.
- It is up to the client and the instructor to determine the flight deck surfaces to wipe down prior to their flight.
- After the flight, clients and instructors must ensure that all trash is removed from the airplane as is our normal practice and wipe down control surfaces inside the aircraft again.
- During ground lessons and other activities at the airport, recommended social distancing should be practiced where possible.
- American Flight Schools employees will complete enhanced routine cleaning on a daily basis. Please follow good general etiquette for a more hygienic environment as found below:
- Please practice good personal hygiene along with covering mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water especially after sneezing or using a tissue.
- Immediately dispose of used tissues in garbage.
- If you need an additional disinfecting wipe for a work area, contact the dispatch desk.
Each location has been, and will continue, to communicate policy and procedures changes that may vary from location to location in response to guidance from local, state, and federal health officials through email and flightschedulepro.com.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact American Flight Schools at email@example.com
Why Are Flight Schools Essential Businesses?
For an explanation of why aviation and the flight training industry are considered critical infrastructure and “essential” businesses, please see the memorandum from Gregory Winton, former Senior Attorney for the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Department of Justice, and the Aviation Law Firm.