The Airports Authority of India (AAI) issued a standard operating procedures (SOPs) to airport operators on Thursday. Nearly after two-month complete shutdown due to COVID-19, Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday said commercial flights will resume beginning May 25. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) issues fresh guidelines to be followed for airlines and passengers.
On the Aarogya Setu app, AAI has however clarified that it's not mandatory for children below 14 years old. At the same time, passengers not showing 'green' on the app will not be allowed to enter the airport terminal. "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.
Airport operators must make appropriate arrangements for sanitisation of a passenger's baggage before his or her entry into the terminal building, said the SOP dated May 20. The AAI manages more than 100 airports across the country. However, major airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad are managed by private companies.
Dos and Don'ts for passengers:
- Passengers need to report to the airport at least two hours before the scheduled departure of their flight. Only those passengers who have flights in the next four hours will be allowed to enter the terminal.
- Airports will have separate screening zones, where passengers will be checked for any COVID-19 symptoms.
- Passengers should try to carry minimal luggage, as operators may restrict the use of trolleys to only those passengers requiring them for "genuine reasons." Throughout the terminal, there will be sanitizers at several points and social distancing markings.
- Seating will be restricted, and most of the F&B outlets will be take-aways. Opt for digital payment to ensure touchless transactions. Also, there will be no newspapers or magazines, even in lounges.
- Passengers need to be prepared for a longer boarding, with both, airline and airport, executives keeping a close watch on social distancing. Upon arrival too, disembarking will be in smaller batches.
- Luggage will be sanitised before being put on the conveyor belt. And as passengers wait for your luggage, be prepared for further social distancing norms.
AAI guidelines that passengers need to follow:
- For commuting to and from the airport, both by staff and passengers, only the personal vehicles or select authorized taxi services /transport services with restricted seating to be permitted.
- All the departing Passengers must compulsorily be registered with ‘Aarogya Setu’ App on their mobiles and the same shall be verified by CISFI Airport staff at the entry gate. However, Aarogya Setu is not mandatory for children below age of 14 years. Those not showing green on the app will not be allowed
- Passengers shall compulsorily walk through Screening Zone for Thermal Screening at a designated place in the city side before entering the terminal building
- Use of trolleys to be discouraged in departure and arrival area. However, select few passengers, requiring trolley due genuine reasons, to be provided on request basis
- Airport operators shall make appropriate arrangement for sanitisation of baggage
- Plexiglass covering check-in and security check counters
- Support staff handling passengers with special needs like wheel chair etc. will be in full protective gear
- Passenger seating arrangement inside airports shall be done in such a manner so as to maintain
- social distancing among passengers using the chairs by blocking those seats that are not to be used, with proper markers/tapes
- All airport staff handling the flight should be provided with Hand sanitizers and all essential Personal Protective Equipment such as face masks etc. as per guidelines issued by MOHFW
- No newspaper/magazines will be provided in terminal building/lounges
- Use open-air ventilation inside airports where ever possible instead of Central air-conditioning
- Entire terminal disinfection should be performed using duly approved disinfectants through fogging/spraying machines or physical mopping at regular intervals
- At Boarding Gates, passengers should be allowed to board in batches as per seating arrangements in the aircraft to avoid crisscrossing inside the aircraft
- To maintain social distancing norms, passengers shall be disembarked in batches sequentially
- To ensure social distance, the markings like circle, square should be provided around the baggage collection carousel for ensuring social distancing
- Before handing over luggage to passengers, all bags will be sanitised by airport staff before putting them on conveyer belt
- Hand sanitisers shall be made available by airport operator for passengers and airport staff at various locations
- Airport operator to ensure that cleanliness and sanitisation of every nook & corner of building and public areas including washrooms, chairs, counters, trolleys, railings, doors, lifts, escalator’s etc. to be done before arrival of the flight and after last passenger leaves the Terminal Building
- Regular fumigation at taxi pickup and drop off points outside airport.