Aarogya Setu Mandatory; Thermal Screening At Entry: AAI Issues SOP As Domestic Flights Set To Resume On 25 MayThe picture featuring planes of various airlines parked at the IGI airport. (Ramesh Pathania/Mint via Getty Images)

A day after Union Minister of Civil Aviation (MoCA) Hardeep Singh Puri announced the resumption of domestic flight operations from 25 May, Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Thursday (21 May) issued the fresh standard operating procedure (SOP) to all its airports.

The SOP that is to be followed with the recommencement of flights in the country, said Aarogya Setu Mobile App was compulsory for all passengers and they will have to walk through a thermal screening zone while entering the airport complex.

Aarogya Setu is only mandatory for people above 14 years of age.

“Airport operators must make appropriate arrangement for sanitisation of passengers' baggage before entry into terminal building,” the AAI said in a statement.

Some of the new SOPs to be followed at airports are:

  • Passengers have to be thermal screened and must have Aarogya Setu on their mobiles, except children below 14. If they don't show "green" or do not have the government contact tracing app, they will not be allowed in
  • Passengers should reach the airport two hours before departure
  • Passengers will be allowed into the terminal building if their flights are within four hours
  • State governments and administrations have to ensure public transport and private taxis for passengers and airline crew
  • Only personal vehicles or select cab services will be allowed to take passengers and staff to the airport or from it.
  • All passengers have to wear masks and gloves
  • For physical distancing in passenger seating areas, chairs to be taped off or marked
  • All staff should have hand sanitisers and Personal Protective Equipment as directed by the home ministry
  • Trolleys will not be allowed in the arrival or departure sections, except for special cases, for which they will be disinfected.
  • Airport operators should make arrangements for sanitizing baggage before entry
  • All entry gates of the terminal will be opened to avoid crowding
  • Social distancing marks or stickers at a distance of at least a metre will be provided at the entry gates, screening zones and terminals.
  • Mats or carpets soaked with bleach will be placed at the entrance to disinfect shoes
  • Counters with Plexiglas or face shields for staff wherever there is interaction with passengers
  • Newspapers or magazines will not be provided in the terminal buildings or lounges
  • Employees with high fever, difficulty in breathing or cough will not be allowed entry into the airport
  • When flights land, passengers will be allowed to leave the plane in batches, sequentially

MoCA Hardeep Singh Puri, in a tweet, yesterday had announced that the flight operations in the country will be resuming in a calibrated manner.

Flight operations across India had been halted after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 March announced nationwide lockdown to contain the spread the spread of novel coronavirus.

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