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Last Updated : May 21, 2020 01:04 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Domestic flights resume from May 25: Ministry of Civil Aviation issues SOP for airports

In the SOP, the ministry said that social distancing measures to be enforced for the passengers at the airports and there should be adequate sanitisation measures.


Ministry of Civil Aviation has issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) to airport operators, detailing all arrangements to be in place so as to ensure that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is minimised, as it allowed to recommence domestic flights from May 25 onwards.

In the SOP, the ministry said that social distancing measures are to be enforced for the passengers at the airports and there should be adequate sanitisation measures.

The ministry stated the following measures to be adopted by the airport at the entrance:

Close
> Only passengers with departures in the next four hours or less to be allowed inside the airport.
> Prominently display the precautionary measures that need to be taken by all staff and passengers.
> Ensure that no passenger without wearing a mask is allowed entry in the airport.
> Provide adequate disembarkation points for vehicles so as to avoid crowding.
> Temperature screening of the passengers entering in the terminal area and at boarding point to be ensured. (At the boarding point the airlines shall discharge this function).
> Passengers and staff showing any symptoms, Aarogya Setu app not showing “green” are not to be allowed to enter the terminal building. If the Aarogya Setu app is not available then a declaration needs to be taken that the person is not infected with COVID-19. Vulnerable persons such very elderly with comorbidities, pregnant ladies, passengers with ailments are advised to avoid air travel.
> Mats/carpet soaked with bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite solution) to be placed at entrance for disinfecting shoes.
> Use of trolleys to be discouraged in departure and arrival area. However, select few passengers, requiring the same due genuine reasons, to be provided on request basis only. All trolleys must be disinfected by suitable means like disinfecting spray etc.

> Designate separate entry gates for different airlines to avoid crowding.

Inside the terminal building, the airport operators needs to

> Ensure social distance markings and separate seating in the forecourt area. > For passengers with special needs like wheel chair unaccompanied minor etc., the handling staff to be in full protection gear with pre-sanitized wheelchairs.
> Prominently display the precautionary measures that need to be taken by all staff and passengers.
> Provide a clear transparent glass shield on a pedestal to act as a barrier between passenger/staff and CISF ASG personnel at the entry gates.
> Social distancing norms for all queues to be strictly adhered to at the entry gate.
> Airports to earmark areas for isolation and COVID -19 testing for suspected passengers.
> Airports to earmark separate areas for change of PPE gear by the staff using it.
> Airports to ensure easy availability of hand sanitiser at all entry points and also to be available at various touchpoints.
> Disinfect all surfaces/touchpoints every 30 minutes like rails near the entry gate etc.
> Keep hand sanitiser/dispensers and social distance marking near self-check-in kiosks/counters.
> All washrooms to be sanitised continuously.
> Social distance markings like circle, square or tensor barriers which are easily visible to be ensured in the check-in (baggage drop) area, as and when, the check-in from the counters is permitted.
> Ensure sanitisation of checked-in baggage.
> Check-in (Baggage Drop) counters to open 3 hours before the Scheduled Time of Departure (STD) and close 60 minutes before STD. Adequate allocation of counters for baggage drop to be made.
> Provide a clear transparent glass shield on a pedestal to act as a barrier between passenger/staff at the baggage drop counter.
> Social distance markings, tensor barriers (queue managers) and separate seating in the area before Security to avoid crowding and queuing. Ensure availability of hand sanitiser dispenser at entry and exit of security check points.
> Ensure availability of adequate number of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Security personnel on duty to be ensured.
> Sanitization of trays at the security-check cabin baggage screening area to be done regularly.

> Special bins to be placed for disposal of used material like masks etc, such waste to be handled and disposed as per the prescribed procedures.

After security check

> The entry to lounges, Prayer room, Kids play room, smoking room etc. to be highly regulated. No reading material/non-essential loose items to be kept.
> Prominently display the precautionary measures that need to be taken by all staff and passengers.
> Passengers to be informed about the precautionary measures through displays, announcements and if required assistance by trained persons.
> Social distance markings and continuous sanitisation of all possible areas including F&B and retail outlets, boarding gate etc. to be done. Chairs to be marked "Not for Use" to ensure adequate separation. Sanitization of frequent touchpoint after every departure to be done.
> All washrooms to be sanitized continuously.
> All F&B and Retail outlets to be opened with COVID-19 precautions. Takeaway to be encouraged to prevent crowding.
> Promote digital payments, self-ordering booths at F&B and Retail Outlets.
> Safe distance markings to be made by the airport operator on Aerobridges as well as the boarding points.
> Provide a clear transparent glass shield on a pedestal to act as a barrier between passenger/staff at the boarding counter.
> Ensure sanitization of the buses used by passengers at regular intervals.
> Ensure that there is no crowding on the step ladder while boarding the aircraft.

> Ensure that the ground handling staff wears masks and other protective gear if the situation so demands.

Upon arrival at destination

> Sequential passenger disembarkation in batches to be carried out to ensure social distancing.
> Ensure social distance markings in arrival gates, aerobridges, coaches, step ladders, ramps. Availability of hand sanitizers at exit points of aerobridge before baggage collection area.
> Put social distance markings like circle, square around the baggage collection carousel.
> Take measures to avoid bunching of passengers on travellators.
> Ensure staggered placement of baggage on the arrival carousel.
> Provide additional separated seating in baggage collection area to avoid crowding.> Transit passengers not to be allowed to come out of transit area.
First Published on May 21, 2020 01:04 pm
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