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Thursday, May 28, 2020

In time of social distancing, Delhi airport prepares to open doors

Domestic flights will operate out of T3 and passengers will be advised to arrive two hours before departure. At the entry road, hoardings and placards with flight details will be displayed, and there will be several entry gates to prevent crowding.

Written by Amil Bhatnagar | New Delhi | Updated: May 24, 2020 1:44:22 pm
india lockdown, delhi lockdown, delhi lockdown 4.0, india lockdown flights resumption, india coronavirus airport guidelines, delhi airport coronavirus, delhi airport flights, delhi city news All passengers will be required to have the Aarogya Setu app installed. (Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

With domestic flights becoming functional Monday onwards, the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) Saturday showcased standard operating procedures it has put in place to provide a “safe and healthy environment” to passengers, with an emphasis on contactless procedures.

“Delhi Airport is all set to open for commercial flight operations after a two-month shutdown, and we have implemented several unique initiatives to ensure passengers safety without compromising their comfort and experience. Our teams have worked round-the-clock to sanitise the vast terminal… and DIAL will continue… encouraging passengers to maintain social distancing at the airport,” said Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, the DIAL CEO.

Domestic flights will operate out of T3 and passengers will be advised to arrive two hours before departure. At the entry road, hoardings and placards with flight details will be displayed, and there will be several entry gates to prevent crowding. All passengers will be required to have the Aarogya Setu app installed, where officials will check the person’s status, along with his or her temperature on a thermal screening device.

If a person does not have the app, he will have to sign an undertaking that the phone was not compatible with the app’s requirements. If the temperature is within the prescribed government limits — 100.4 F — and the app shows a ‘green’ status, the passenger will be allowed in.

At the boarding gate, a CISF officer will be standing behind a glass partition and passengers will have to display the confirmed web check-in document along with an ID without coming in contact with the security officer. Social distancing norms will be maintained at the waiting queue, officials said.

Once crossing the automatic doors at the gate, passengers will be greeted with a squishy sanitising carpet, meant to disinfect the bottom surface of shoes. “As you step on the carpet, it releases a sanitising liquid that can clean the bottom sole of shoes,” said an airport official. This will be followed by another thermal scan and the passenger will have to sanitise his hands with a contactless dispenser. Passengers will be encouraged to self check-in using contactless kiosks where scanning the QR code will produce the boarding pass.

According to officials, all departure baggage will be sanitised through a UV light disinfection tunnel, developed by DIAL. Passengers will be expected to put the tags on the bags themselves, but they can ask ground staff for assistance. At every point of contact, a bottle of sanitiser has been placed.

For Delhi and Hyderabad airports, an app called HOI has been developed which provides information about departures and arrivals, among other things. Food courts and restaurants will also be open for passengers but will be functioning with fewer seats. A team of 500 professionals will disinfect the terminal every one hour.

According to officials, no shuttle buses will operate and passengers will use one of the 14 aerobridges to reach the aircraft. Masks will be compulsory for all passengers and all Covid-related norms listed by the Aviation Ministry will be followed during in-flight operations.

For those arriving at the Delhi airport from another city, a screening will be compulsory and medical staff, assisted by airport authorities, will have facilities to isolate suspected Covid passengers. After this, the government guidelines for isolation, quarantine or testing will follow.

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