Domestic Flights Resume in India: The Centre on Wednesday said domestic flight services would resume from Monday in a “calibrated manner”, laying the ground for gradual resumption of scheduled commercial flight operations that have been shut since March 25.
“Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday May 25, 2020. All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from May 25. SOPs for passenger movement are also being separately issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation,” Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted. Read in Malayalam
All domestic passenger flight operations have been suspended for the 54-day lockdown period that began on March 25. However, cargo flights, medical evacuation flights and special flights approved by the aviation regulator DGCA were allowed to operate.
Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday 25th May 2020.
All airports & air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May.
SOPs for passenger movement are also being separately issued by @MoCA_GoI.
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 20, 2020
The development comes despite some state governments, including West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, expressing concern on resuming flight operations during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief ministers. In addition to this, certain state governments have been apprehensive of allowing people from locations highly impacted by Covid-19 to enter their borders.
A number of new rules and regulations are expected to be put into place that will change the flying experience. These include mandatory social distancing at airports, revisions in the way security procedures are conducted to ensure minimal contact, use of face masks and personal protective equipment by passengers and employees, among others. A variety of new health checks may also be instituted that could result in longer queues at airports and increased wait times.
Earlier this month, in a communication to airport managers across the country, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) asked all airports to be in preparedness to handle flight operations.
Issuing a set of standard operating procedures, AAI’s directorate of operations said: “Once the lockdown period is declared to be over, airports shall be facilitating limited domestic/international scheduled flights in phases, to start with, may be at 30 per cent capacity to facilitate required social distancing”. It added initially, airline operations may be limited to Tier-l cities and major Tier-ll cities.
The Centre is looking at the option of making the Aarogya Setu app mandatory for flyers to have it installed on their phones while taking any flight. “If the proposal is approved in the Aviation ministry, passengers who do not have the app on their phone would not be allowed to board their flight,” PTI quoted an official as saying.
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