Flying domestic during the coronavirus pandemic? Here are the list of guidelines issued by Airport Authority of India

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Thursday issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) to airport operators for recommencement of domestic commercial flight operations from May 25. The AAI has said that all passengers must compulsorily be registered with the Aarogya Setu app on their phones.

However, Aarogya Setu app is not mandatory for children below 14 years of age. 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.

According to the SOPs, airports have been advised to ensure that passenger seating arrangement shall be done in such a manner so as to maintain social distancing among passengers using chairs by blocking those seats that are not to be used, with proper markers/tapes.

The airport staff must be provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, face masks etc, and should also be provided with hand sanitisers. It has also asked all food and beverage (F&B) and retail outlets to be opened with COVID-19 precautions. Take-away to be encouraged to prevent crowding. Promote digital payments, self-ordering booths at F&B and retails outlets.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation also issued general instructions for domestic travellers. The ministry said that those passengers with confirmed web check-in will be allowed to enter the airport. Passengers will be required to wear protective gear (face mask) and only one check-in bag will be allowed.

The ministry also advised that Vulnerable persons, such as very elderly, pregnant ladies, passengers with health issues should avoid air travel. No physical check-in at airport counters would be done. Only those passengers with confirmed web check-in shall be allowed to enter the airport.

In a tweet, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday said: "Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday, 25th May 2020." "All airports & air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May," he said. Furthermore, the minister said the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the passenger movement would be issued soon.

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Free Press Journal