Real ID rollout postponed coronavirus

President Trump on Monday said he will extend the Real ID
deadline due to the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis and the need for social
distance. 

The deadline had been Oct. 1 for domestic airline passengers
to secure a Real ID driver’s license for use as identification at the airport. No
new implementation date has been set.

“We’re postponing the deadline for compliance with Real ID
requirements,” Trump said during a press conference at the White House. “At a
time when we’re asking Americans to maintain social distance, we do not want to
require people to go to their local DMV. We will be announcing the new deadline
very soon.”

The U.S. Travel Association, which has long warned that the
Oct. 1 deadline would leave many Americans unable to fly, applauded the delay
in implementation. 

U.S. Travel CEO Roger Dow said, “The already difficult task
of bringing the country closer to Real ID compliance is now clearly impossible
due to the coronavirus crisis.” 

Dow added, “We’ve asked the Department of Homeland Security
that the delay of the Real ID enforcement deadline remain in place until the
current economic environment improves and DHS can certify that access to air
travel will not be negatively impacted after Real ID enforcement begins.”

Real ID driver’s licenses must meet security standards laid
out in the Real ID Act of 2005. More data is required for the issuance of Real IDs, and compliant
IDs are to have security features intended to prevent tampering or
counterfeiting.

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Emirates, Etihad, flydubai to suspend all flights immediately from Tuesday night

Suspension of flights follows a new directive from the General Civil Aviation Authority

Airlines in the UAE have announced they will bring forward plans to suspend all flights in and out of the country, following a directive from government authorities late on Tuesday.

“The UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), have brought forward their directive to suspend all inbound, outbound, and transit passenger flights in the UAE to today. This decision has been made to limit the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus and to protect citizens, residents, and international travellers,” Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Etihad Airways initially announced on Monday it would temporarily suspend all flights to, from, and via Abu Dhabi from the end of Wednesday.

Travel Update: The UAE Government has made the decision to bring forward the date of suspension for all inbound, outbound, and transit flights to Abu Dhabi. Per this directive, Etihad will be temporarily suspending all flights departing Abu Dhabi effective immediately. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/Ig1TABXbDZ— Etihad (@etihad) March 24, 2020

The ban on flights, including transit flights, will be in place for 14 days, subject to further directives by the relevant authorities. 

The airline said any of its aircraft currently outside the UAE from Tuesday, March 24, will continue to operate to Abu Dhabi as planned, with the final arrival on Wednesday, March 25.

“We deeply regret any inconvenience and disruption this will cause our customers during this challenging period. Our teams will continue to make every effort to assist its customers and to advise them of their options,” Etihad said in its statement.

Dubai’s Emirates airline also issued a statement on its website stating that “as per the UAE government’s directive, Emirates will temporarily suspend all passenger services from 25 March 2020. We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused to our customers and travellers. These measures are in place to contain the spread of COVID-19, and we hope to resume services as soon as feasible”.

The Dubai carrier had also announced on Monday it planned to suspend flights from March 25.

Low-cost carrier flydubai also confirmed it will suspend flights from Tuesday, March 24

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