India suspended all flights since 25 March when the government imposed the nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. The Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced that domestic flight operations will start from 25 May, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) today (May 21) issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) for airports for the resumption of domestic flights.
Passengers have to compulsorily walk through a thermal screening zone before entering the airport terminal building and all have to have the Aarogya Setu app on their mobiles. This app is not mandatory for children below 14 years. The AAI said in a statement that, “Airport authority has to make proper arrangements for sanitization of passengers, baggage before entry into the terminal building.”
Passengers should reach the airport in advance, they will necessarily need to reach two hours in advance of flight time. Passengers have to wear gloves and masks. The passengers that will not show “green” in the Aarogya Setu app will not be allowed to enter the airport. At passenger touchpoints, staffs to either wear face shields behind the counter or put glass wall at the counter; constant announcements regarding social distancing and all other safety norms should be done; boarding to be done in batches so as to maintain social distancing; passenger seating arrangements shall be done in such a manner so as to maintain social distancing among passengers using chairs by blocking those seats that are not to be used, with proper tapes or markers; all airport staff to wear PPEs and use hand sanitizers for staff and passengers; newspapers and magazines not to be provided in the Terminal building/lounges; passengers who have their flights within 4 hours will only be allowed in the terminal; state governments and administrations have to ensure public transport and private taxis for passengers and airline crew; trolleys will not be allowed in the arrival or departure sections, except for special cases.
Countries across the world are easing restrictions that were imposed to stop the spread of Corona Virus infection. India is gearing up to open its domestic airspace.