AAI issues SOP for domestic flights’ resumption

PTI New Delhi | Updated on May 21, 2020 Published on May 21, 2020

Aarogya Setu not mandatory for children below 14

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) to airport operators on Thursday for recommencement of domestic flights from May 25 onwards, saying Aarogya Setu app is not mandatory for children below 14 years of age.

However, all other departing passengers must be registered on the app on their mobile phones and it will be verified by the CISF or the airport staff at the entry gate of the terminal building, the AAI said.

“Passengers shall compulsorily walk through screening zone for thermal screening at a designated place in the city side before entering the terminal building,” the AAI said in its SOP, which has been accessed by PTI.

It said airport operators must make appropriate arrangements for sanitisation of a passenger’s baggage before his or her entry into the terminal building.

The AAI manages more than 100 airports across the country. However, major airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad are managed by private companies.

“Passengers should reach airport two hours before the scheduled time of departure and the passengers who have departure in next four hours will only be allowed to enter the terminal building,” said the SOP, dated May 20.

All scheduled commercial passenger flights have been suspended since March 25 when the nationwide lockdown came into force to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had announced on Wednesday that domestic flight services would resume from May 25 onwards in a calibrated manner.

Traffic in kerb area or city side or car parking area should be strictly monitored in coordination with the traffic police or the CISF to prevent congestion and maintain social distancing, as per the SOP.

“Use of trolleys to be discouraged in departure or arrival area. However, select few passengers who require trolley due to genuine reasons will be provided on request basis only,” it stated.

The AAI instructed airport operators that all entry gates of the terminal building must be kept open in order to avoid crowding.

Mats or carpets soaked with bleach - sodium hypochlorite solution - must be placed at the entrance of the terminal building to disinfect shoes, the SOP said.

“For passengers with special needs, unaccompanied minor, etc, the handling stuff must be in full protection gear with pre-sanitised wheelchairs,” it noted.

Newspapers and magazines must not be provided anywhere in the terminal building, the SOP said, adding that all food, beverages and retail outlets must be opened with proper COVID-19 precautions.

The AAI instructed airports to “use open air ventilation instead of central air conditioning”.

“At boarding gates, passengers should be allowed to board in batches as per seating avoid crisscrossing inside the aircraft,” the SOP said.

According to senior government officials, the government is likely to put a floor price and a cap price on all airfares in order to avoid predatory pricing and high ticket fares.

Moreover, they said the government is likely to permit only around 30 per cent of domestic flights initially.

Puri did not mention on Tuesday from when international passenger flights would resume.

Published on May 21, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.