On Thursday, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Government of India issued Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for airports. Domestic flights are set to resume operations from 25 May in a calibrated manner, as per Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri’s tweet on Wednesday, which is exactly after 2 months since services have been halted. Only one-third of the domestic flights would resume services initially.
Among the many rules issued by the AAI and GOI for passengers flying to various destinations across India, here are some pointers:
Before entering the airport:
Passengers will have to compulsorily walk through a thermal screening zone before entering the airport terminal building.
All passengers have to wear masks and gloves.
All passengers aged 14 years and above with need to be registered on the Aarogya Setu app on their phones. Only those who have “green” colour code on the app will be allowed to travel.
Those living in containment zones or tested positive for COVID-19 cannot travel. He/she could be liable for penal action.
Passengers have to be at the airport two hours before departure time.
Passengers will be allowed into the terminal building if their flights are set to depart within four hours.
Only personal vehicles or select cab services will be allowed to and from the airport. Payments to the taxis will have to be made digitally.
Only one check-in baggage and one cabin bag allowed.
Ensure you have web checked in and obtained a boarding pass online.
Passengers should download baggage tag, print it and affix it on the bag.
At the Airport
Passengers should be ready with masks and required documents/e-documents before entering the premises.
Passengers will have to display their identity documents and e-boarding pass to the CISF staff at the entry gate.
Baggage drop and check-in procedure must be completed at least 60 minutes before departure of the flight.
To maintain physical distance, passenger seating areas, chairs to be taped off or marked.
Trolleys will not be allowed in the arrival or departure sections, except for special cases, in which case, they will be disinfected, according to AAI.
Arrangements will have to be made by airport authorities to sanitize baggage before entry.
Mats or carpets soaked with bleach – sodium hypochlorite solution – must be placed at the entrance of the terminal building to disinfect shoes.
For passengers with special needs, unaccompanied minor, etc, the handling stuff must be in full protection gear with pre-sanitised wheelchairs.
Newspapers and magazines will not be provided at terminal buildings.
All entry gates of the terminal will be opened to avoid crowding.
There will be social distancing marks or stickers at a distance of at least a metre at the entry gates, screening zones and terminals.
Passengers should use yellow coloured bins to dispose of bio-hazardous waste like masks, gloves and tissues.
While boarding and on arrival
At boarding gates, passengers should be allowed to board in batches as per seating arrangement to avoid crisscrossing inside the aircraft.
Social distancing and sanitisation should be maintained at all times.
Airlines will provide passengers with safety kits: three-layered surgical masks and sanitizer near the boarding gate.
On landing, passengers will be allowed to leave the plane in batches, sequentially.
Baggage will also arrive in batches.
Passengers will have to adhere to health protocols prescribed by the destination’s local authority.
In addition, the civil ministry has issued an order that says that the airlines should adhere to upper and lower caps on airfares as prescribed by the ministry to prevent any massive hike or fall in ticket pricing.