The Airports Authority of India (AAI) Thursday issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for airport operators for recommencement of domestic flight operations, a day after the Centre said it will reopen the airspace from May 25. Among the key guidelines include mandatory use of Aarogya Setu app for those above 14 years, sanitation of baggage by airport operators before entering the airport, restrictions on vehicles allowed to pickup and drop off passengers.
The set of fresh guidelines come after the government announced its move to resume domestic passenger flight operations that have been suspended during the 54-day lockdown period.
All scheduled commercial passenger flights were suspended in India since March 25, when the Central government imposed lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, cargo flights, medical evacuation flights and special flights were allowed to operate after approval by the aviation regulator DGCA.
Here are the guidelines that airports need to follow
- For commuting to and from airport, both by staff and passengers, only the personal vehicles or select authorized taxi services /transport services with restricted seating to be permitted.
- All the departing Passengers must compulsorily be registered with ‘Aarogya Setu’ App on their mobiles and the same shall be verified by CISFI Airport staff at the entry gate. However, Aarogya Setu is not mandatory for children below age of 14 years. Those not showing green on the app will not be allowed
- Passengers shall compulsorily walk through Screening Zone for Thermal Screening at a designated place in the city side before entering the terminal building
- Use of trolleys to be discouraged in departure and arrival area. However, select few passengers, requiring trolley due genuine reasons, to be provided on request basis
- Airport operators shall make appropriate arrangement for sanitisation of baggage
- Plexiglass covering check-in and security check counters
- Support staff handling passengers with special needs like wheel chair etc. will be in full protective gear
- Passenger seating arrangement inside airports shall be done in such a manner so as to maintain
social distancing among passengers using the chairs by blocking those seats that are not to be used, with proper markers/tapes
- All airport staff handling the flight should be provided with Hand sanitizers and all essential Personal Protective Equipment such as face masks etc. as per guidelines issued by MOHFW
- No newspaper/magazines will be provided in terminal building/lounges
- Use open-air ventilation inside airports where ever possible instead of Central air-conditioning
- Entire terminal disinfection should be performed using duly approved disinfectants through fogging/spraying machines or physical mopping at regular intervals
- At Boarding Gates, passengers should be allowed to board in batches as per seating arrangements in the aircraft to avoid crisscrossing inside the aircraft
- To maintain social distancing norms, passengers shall be disembarked in batches sequentially
- To ensure social distance, the markings like circle, square should be provided around the baggage collection carousel for ensuring social distancing
- Before handing over luggage to passengers, all bags will be sanitised by airport staff before putting them on conveyer belt
- Hand sanitisers shall be made available by airport operator for passengers and airport staff at various locations
- Airport operator to ensure that cleanliness and sanitisation of every nook & corner of building and public areas including washrooms, chairs, counters, trolleys, railings, doors, lifts, escalator’s etc. to be done before arrival of the flight and after last passenger leaves the Terminal Building
- Regular fumigation at taxi pickup and drop off points outside airport.
The AAI manages more than 100 airports across the country. However, major airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad are managed by private companies.
Meanwhile, aviation stocks on Thursday rallied up to 10 per cent in opening trade after the government announced that domestic passenger flight services will resume from May 25 in a calibrated manner.
InterGlobe Aviation shares zoomed 9.88 per cent to Rs 1,002 on the BSE. SpiceJet also jumped 4.88 per cent to Rs 42.95 — its upper circuit limit.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines