This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
With the recent Covid travel restrictions and testing requirements for air travel into the U.S., Universal Weather and Aviation has established a network of Covid-19 testing providers across the top 200 international airports that its trip support customers most frequently use, including all destinations where the company has a presence, either through a Universal Aviation ground services office or an identified preferred ground handler. A spokesman told AIN that the company seeks to expand that list to 350 locations over the next two months.
The database of providers includes names and contact information, the types of tests available, mobile or on-site testing availability, turnaround times, and costs. Universal is also working with major hotel chains to determine properties where Covid testing can be facilitated.
“Most countries, including the United States, now require a negative viral Covid-19 test for entry,” said Charlie Mularski, the trip support provider’s senior v-p for international operations. “Finding a reliable and reputable testing provider when operating internationally is a huge challenge and area of risk. We’re taking that burden off our customers.”
Mularski added that while vaccine distribution begins to ramp up globally, testing will remain a common part of international operations for the foreseeable future. “We view that building this network of Covid-19 testing providers—and continuing to grow it—is critical to ensuring successful missions happen,” he said.