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Monday, May 25, 2020

Domestic flights to resume: Full text of Aviation Ministry guidelines

Airlines are allowed to release boarding passes only after obtaining a self-declaration from passengers that they are not residing in a containment zone or have been under quarantine, the ministry guidelines said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: May 21, 2020 2:52:44 pm
Hardeep Singh Puri Interview, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Domestic flights to resume, Domestic flights guidelines, India coronavirus, India covid lockdown, Indian express Airlines are allowed to release boarding passes only after obtaining a self-declaration from passengers that they are not residing in a containment zone or have been under quarantine, the ministry guidelines said.

With domestic flights set to resume operations from Monday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation Thursday released guidelines to be followed by airports and passengers during the flights.

Passengers will only be allowed to obtain boarding passes through web check-in. They are also required to download the baggage tag for their check-in luggage, which is restricted to a maximum of one bag and a handbag.

Airlines are allowed to release boarding passes only after obtaining a self-declaration from passengers that they are not residing in a containment zone or have been under quarantine, the guidelines said.

Here is the full text of guidelines:

Annexure-I

General Instructions for commencement of domestic air travel

Air travel of passengers, both domestic and international, has been prohibited since 25th March, 2020. Now it has been decided by Government that domestic air travel of passengers shall resume with effect from 25th May, 2020 (order of MHA dated 20th May, 2020). Accordingly, Ministry of Civil Aviation has developed general instructions and detailed guidelines for air travel of passengers and major stakeholders (Airlines, Airports, Security Agencies, Ground Handling Agencies and Health Authorities, etc.) by
incorporating necessary safeguards in consultation with Experts and Stakeholders.

General Instructions:

a. On the day of commencement, limited operations (about 1/3rd) would be permitted.

b. Further augmentation of flights will be done in a calibrated manner.

c. Vulnerable persons, such as very elderly, pregnant ladies, passengers with health issues are advised to avoid air travel.

d. No physical check-in at airport counters would be done. Only those passengers with confirmed web check-in shall be allowed to enter the airport.

e. Airlines should adhere to the lower and upper limits offers prescribed by the Ministry during the period of COVID- 19 pandemic.

f. A self-declaration/Aarogya Setu App status (for compatible device) would also be obtained that the passenger is free of COVID-19 symptoms. Passengers with “Red” status in Aarogya Setu App would not be permitted to travel.

g. Passengers will be required to wear the protective gear (Face mask).

h. The airlines shall not provide meal services on board.

i. The cabin crew are required to be in full protective suit.

J. Only one check-in bag will be allowed.

k. No newspaper or magazine shall be provided on board by the airlines.

l. Use of baggage/trolleys has to be minimised.

m. Passengers should report at least two hours before the departure time.

n. Airline shall furnish the passengers manifest in the prescribed format to the State/UT Governments as per their requirement.

Annexure-II

1. From Origin to Airport

a. Passengers should familiarize themselves about the new procedures at the airport. Especially, about the norms of social distancing, minimum touch, baggage limitations, COVID-19 declaration, registering on Aarogya Setu App, digital payments, use of authorized taxis. Expect slower processes and hence avoid last minute reaching the airport.

b. Passenger to ensure that he/she has made a web check-in and obtained a boarding pass. He/she should also download the baggage tag/baggage identification number.

c. In the initial stage passenger would be entitled to carry maximum of one hand baggage and one checked-in baggage as per the specifications by the airline of his travel.

d. Passengers, before entering the terminal, to ensure wearing of protective gear, as per the prevailing requirement. He will continue to wear the mask throughout the journey.

e. Passenger to report at the airport as per revised reporting time i.e, D-2 hours.

f. Passenger should travel in an authorized taxi/personal vehicle following the norms specified by MHA.

g. During transit to airport, the passenger should take all precautions to prevent infection.

h. The passenger shall not travel if he/she is staying in a containment zone.
Also, they should not travel if they have been tested positive for COVID-l9.
The passengers are expected to certify the status of their health through the Aarogya Setu app or a self-declaration form.

i. If a passenger who is not permitted to fly, undertakes an air journey he/she
shall be liable for penal action.

j. The passenger shall give a declaration to the following effect:

i. I/we am/are not residing in any containment zone.
ii. I/we am/are not suffering from any fever/cough/any respiratory distress.
iii. I/we am/ are not under quarantine.
iv. If I/we develop any of the above-mentioned symptoms I shall contact the concerned health authorities. immediately.
v. I/we have not tested Covid-19 positive in last two months.
vi. I/we am eligible to travel as per the extant norms.
vii. I/we make my mobile number / contact details available to the airlines whenever required by them.
viii. I/we understand that if I/we undertake the air journey without meeting the eligibility criteria l/we would be liable to penal action.
ix. I/we undertake to adhere to the health protocol prescribed by the destination State/UT.

k. The airlines shall ensue that the boarding pass is issued only after the declaration given above has been made by the passenger. In case of a PNR having more than one passenger, the declaration would be deemed to be covering all the passengers mentioned in the PNR

I. The passenger shall print the baggage tag and affix it on the bag at a prominent place. In case he/she is not able to print the baggage tag the PNR number and the name of the passenger (as mentioned in the ticket) should be boldly written on a piece of thick paper and affixed to the bag or tag it with the help of a strong string.

m. Passengers are advised to carry minimum baggage as use of trolleys would
be permitted sparingly.

2. At the Airport:

a. Entering the terminal building.

i. The passenger should get down from his/her vehicle with the face mask on and with the required documents/e-documents. He would continue to wear his mask throughout the journey.

ii. He/she walk in the forecourt area and arrive at the thermal screening facility near the entry gate.

iii. He should get himseli/herself checked for temperature. This will be done by a designated staff of the Airport. The status of “Aarogya Setu” should be displayed to the staff

iv. In case of non-availability of Aarogya Setu, the passenger should be facilitated to go a counter provided by the airport where Aarogya Setu can be downloaded. Children below fourteen years of age would be exempt from this requirement.

v. The passenger shall, then, move to the CISF counter at the entry check-point. He/she shall display/show his identity card, the boarding pass/-e-boarding pass to the CISF staff. The CISF staff on confirming the identity ofthe person shall allow him/her in.

vi. The passenger shall then proceed to the baggage drop counter.

vii. At the baggage drop counter the passenger shall display the PNR and
his/her identification to the staff. The passenger shall also show/indicate the PNR number written/printed on his/her baggage to the staff. Upon confirmation, the staff shall print the baggage tag, attach it on the bag and accept the bag. Instead of issuing a printed receipt to the passenger, an electronic receipt in the form of an SMS shall be sent to the passenger.

viii. Passengers are mandated to adhere to the single baggage policy in the initial phase.

ix. Passengers to adhere to the social distancing which would be specified at the airports through markings like circle, square or tensor barrier as specified at the airport to be used by the passenger.

x. Passengers to complete the check-in procedure and baggage drop of at least 60 minutes before departure.

b. Security

i. Arrangements have been made at airports to guide passengers to walk through the pre-embarkation security screening. Passengers should follow the directions as announced by the authorities.

ii. Passengers should divest of all metal on their body to facilitate the security screening. Also, bring only one hand luggage as per specified size allowed by the airlines.

iii. Security staff will practice ‘minimum touch’ concept to reduce physical contact with the passengers. Passengers to cooperate with security staff by following the instructions for their own safety and security.

c. Security Hold Area including Lounge, Prayer Room, Kids play area etc,

i. Passengers to proceed to security hold area after security screening.

ii. While waiting in the security hold area they should maintain social distancing and sanitization protocols. Chairs marked ‘Not For Use’ should not be occupied.

iii. While going around F&B, retail outlets, etc., passengers maintain hygiene and should be aware of the social distancing and locations where sanitizer would be available.

iv. Passengers should dispose of all the bio hazardous material like used masks, gloves, tissues etc. in the yellow colored disposable bins/bags placed at strategic locations at the airport,

d. Boarding

i. Passenger should give attention to the various communication materials displayed at the airyot about various health advisories relating to pre-boarding and during the flight precautions. ‘

ii. Passenger to collect the safety kit (thrce layered sugical masks, face shield and sanitizer) from the airlines near the boarding gate. They should wear mask, face shield and sanitize their hands before proceeding to the boarding gate for scanning of the boarding pass.

iii. Passenger should give attention to boarding announcements and reach the boarding queue by following distancing.

iv. Check-in of the boarding pass would be done by the passenger by self-scanning of e-boarding pass.

v. Passengers would be required to show their ID card to the airline staff at the boarding gale.

vi. Passenger to board the aircraft in a sequential manner as per the announcement by the airlines.

3. In the Aircraft

a. Throughout the flight, hygiene and sanitation to be maintained by the passengers. Face to face interaction to be minimized.

b. Passenger are advised to minimize use of lavatory and to avoid any non-essential movement in the aisles.

c. No queuing at the lavatory and only one companion for children and the elderly to be allowed.

d. No meal services would be made available in the aircraft. Water bottle to be made available in the gallery area or on the seats.

e. Passengers would not be permitted to consume any eatables inside the aircraft during the flight.

f. Passengers to note that No paper / magazine will be available in the aircraft.

g. There would be no on-board sale of any item to minimize the physical contacts.

h. lf any passenger feels uncomfortable, fatigued or have cough, it should be brought to the notice of the crew for handling the passenger.

4. From Airport to Destination

a. Arrival

i. The disembarkation from the airlines would be sequential and passengers are advised to follow the iDstructions and not to rush to the exit gate.

ii. Social distance / sanitation should be maintained at the arrival gate, coaches, jet ladders, ramps etc.

iii. Trolleys in the arrival area to be used sparingly.

b. Baggage Collection

i. Passenger to wait at the baggage hold area till the baggage arrives in batches.

ii. Transit passenger will not be allowed to come out of the transit area.

c. Exit from Airport

i. Passenger should use the authorized taxi maintaining the prescribed hygiene protocols.

ii. Only authorized taxis are allowed for taking the passenger from the airport.

iii. Passengers are advised to follow the social distancing and hygiene while travelling in any mode of transportation.

iv. On anival at their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination State/UT.

Annexure III

Specific Operatine Guidelires for Maior Stakeholders {Airlines)

Measures to be Taken by the Airlines

l. The Airlines shall make all arrangements so as to prevent that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 virus is minimized. Precautionary measures need to be taken within the aircraft as well at the time of check-in, boarding and arrival at the destination. The airlines shall ensue coordination among the other service providers such as the airports, security agencies, ground handling agencies etc. without compromising on the generality of the above, the airlines shall take the following measures:

2. Pre-Departure Requirements

a. All airlines to disseminate the information regarding the precautionary measures to be taken by the passengers. This should be done through their web-sites, travel agents, call centers, display at airports, assistance booths at the airports. etc-

b. Airlines to train/ educate their staff and the staff of the ground handlers about the various measures that need to be taken.

c. Airlines to ensure that their aircraft are sanitized after every trip and at the end of the day, as per the protocol prescribed by the DGCA.

d. All airlines to take adequate steps to ensure that all tickets are sold electronically. They should build enough redundancy so as to ensue uninterrupted service to the passengers.

e. Educate the passenger about the web check-in process. They should provide alternatives if a passenger does not have a computer at home. Facilities of tele check-in should also be provided.

f. Inform all passengers that they will have to necessarily follow a web check-in/ tele check-in process.

g. Airlines should devise a system that web-check-in or tele check-in is possible only when the passenger certifies the status of their health through the Aarogya Setu App or a self-declaration form. The passenger shall give a declaration to the following effect:

i. I/we am/are not residing in any containment zone.
ii. I/we am/are not suffering from any fever/cough/any respiratory disease.
iii. I/we am are not under quarantine.
iv. I/we develop any of the above-mentioned symptoms I shall contact the concerned health authorities, immediately.
v. I/we have not tested COVID-19 positive in last two months.
vi. I/we am eligible to travel as per the extant norms.
vii. I shall make my mobile number/contact details available to the airlines/whenever required by them.

viii. I understand that if I undertake the air journey without meeting the eligibility criteria, I would be liable to penal action.

h. The airlines shall ensure that the boarding pass is issued only after the declaration given above has been made by the passenger. In case of a PNR having more than one passenger, the declaration would be deemed to be covering all the passengers mentioned in the PNR.

i. The airlines shall keep a record of the aforesaid declaration and make it available to any Central Government or State Government agency if required.

J. The airlines shall inform the passenger that only one check-in baggage is allowed apart from the hand-baggage. The hand-baggage shall be governed by the normal norms of the airlines. The check-in baggage should not exceed 20 kg, beyond which the airlines can charge.

k. The booking system of the airlines should provide for printing of baggage tag by the passenger himself/herself. An alternative simple mechanism should also be provided to the passengers.

Arrival at the Airport

a. Inform the passenger that the reporting time at the airport is at Ieast two hours before the scheduled time of departure.

b. Provide adequate protective gear to all their staff.

c. Ensure that all their staff is adequately trained about the various protective measures.

d. Make adequate staff available at the entry to the airport to assist the passengers.

e. The body temperature of each passenger to be taken. Symptomatic passengers should not be allowed to enter the airport. Passengers denied travel due high temperature or age to be permitted to change their date of travel without penalty. Airlines to keep all such records.

f. For passengers with special needs like wheel chair, unaccompanied minor etc., the handling staff to be in full protection gear with pre-sanitized wheelchairs.

Baggage Drop Facilities

a. Airlines should provide enough number of counters to facilitate easy baggage drop by the passengers.

b. At the baggage drop counter arrangement shall be made such that the passenger displays the PNR and his/her identification to the staff. The passenger shall also show/indicate the PNR number written/printed on his,&er baggage to the staff. Upon confirmation, the staff shall print the baggage tag, attach it on the bag and accept the bag. Instead of issuing a printed receipt to the passenger, an electronic receipt in the form of an SMS shall be sent to the passenger.

c. Front line staff to wear mandatory Protective gear. Staff at counters and ensure sale distance while accepting baggage.

d. Only one hand baggage and one piece of checked-in baggage (20 kg) to be permitted in initial phase.

e. The baggage drop procedure to be completed at least 60 minutes before departure.

f. The airline should prominently display the precautionary steps to be taken by the passenger.

g. Any payment made on account of tickets / excess baggage etc. to be accepted through Digital Mode only.

h. Airline to release passengers for security after check-in / baggage drop off in restricted numbers to ensure social distancing at the security gates.

At the Boarding Gate

a. Airlines to make announcements at the waiting area and educate the passengers.

b. Boarding to commence 60 minutes before departure and gate to close at D-20 minutes.

c. Airlines to supply protection kit to each passenger (three layered surgical masks, face shield and sanitizer) near the boarding gate. They should wear mask and sanitize their hands before proceeding to the boarding gate for scanning of the boarding pass. Passengers to continue wearing the mask throughout the journey.

d. The body temperature of each passenger to be taken at the boarding. Symptomatic passengers should not be permitted to board the aircraft.

e. Staggered sequential boarding in batches of 10 to be practiced. If possible, self-scanning of paper/e-boarding pass. The passengers to display their ID before boarding.

f. No passenger to be allowed to board without face mask.

g. Check-in of the boarding pass would be done by the passenger by self-scanning of e-boarding pass. Passengers would be required to show their ID card to the airline staff at the boarding gate.

h. Ensure that the passengers board the aircraft in a sequential manner as per the announcement by the airlines.

i. lf a bus is being used for boarding, the airlines shall ensue that the bus is not crowded. Also, the bus should be sanitized continuously.

j. Airlines should ensure that there is no crowding on the step ladder. The grab rails of the step ladder should be sanitized continuously.

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