Recent Activity as of 8/14/2020
Last week, the VABA identified a document from the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) providing guidance for how Virginia businesses can reopen safely. This document included language stating that employers should screen employees returning from both domestic and international air travel and prevent them from returning to work for 14 days after such travel. The guidance was extremely punitive to aviation. The guidance went against current recommendations from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health. Furthermore, the guidance singled out aviation travel, ignoring all other forms of interstate travel such as bus or rail.
The VABA spoke to agency and administration officials, notified industry partners, and immediately prepared a letter of concern to the Governor recommending that Virginia follow federal guidelines on air travel. The Administration has since removed the language from the DOLI publication relating to air travel. In addition to the VABA letter to the Governor, Airlines for America wrote a similar letter to Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball, and the Virginia Airport Operators Council voiced its concerns with the head of the Department of Labor and Industry.
Industry is very pleased and appreciative of the Governor and Administration for its quick response to our concerns, with the DOLI response occurring within 48 hours of our letter. We look forward to continued collaboration with our industry partners and the Office of the Governor to ensure that Virginia continues to be a national leader in the aviation and aerospace industries.
March 24, 2020
The VABA sent this letter to Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner sharing with them the vital importance of including the commercial and general aviation industries in relief packages being considered by Congress. The letter focuses on the importance of regional routes and providing direct assistance to the carriers that operate them. Aviation and aerospace companies provide employment and economic benefits to the Commonwealth. The VABA is working hard to ensure that the vitals industries are supported during this crisis and emerge ready to resume operations when we have successfully addressed the COVID-19 virus.
Please let us know how the VABA can assist you as we navigate through this trying time in our history.