The Civil Aviation Ministry has received several suggestions from airlines and airports on steps to be implemented after the flight operations resume post-lockdown due to coronavirus COVID-19, said an official statement of Tuesday.
The suggestions were sought on a draft discussion paper from airlines and airports. However, the final standard operating procedure (SOP) is yet to be released.
Among the many suggestions received, a policy of no cabin baggage in the initial phase has been also been proposed. The mandatory passenger ID check at the airport entry has also been suggested to be done away with to minimize rush at the entry as it has no significant value addition. It has also been recommended that passenger with green status on Aarogya Setu App only will be allowed to travel.
The pat-down check and frisking have also been suggested to be minimized and should be carried out only if DFMD beeps. The stamping of boarding passes by the CISF has been advised to be dispensed with.
Here are the suggestions forwarded:
1) Social Distance markings, disinfecting all common areas like lifts, travelators, escalators, Chairs in seating areas, F & B and Retail outlets. Availability of movable hand wash cart or alcohol-based hand sanitizers at regular intervals within the terminal to be ensured.
2) Disinfection of utility areas like washroom, water fountain, all structures across terminals including counters, security screening areas, touch screens, communication screens, under the preview of airport operations including those in use by respective concessionaires to ensure all areas at airport are covered.
3) To ensure Staff, Crew and passengers use sanitized vehicles with limited seating only for transportation within the airport and for arriving and departing the airport. Select taxi services only to be authorized by the Airport Operator for plying to the airport.
4) All major change management/projects at the airport terminal or airside to be suspended unless of critical nature. The labour/staff to avoid crowding. Airport Operators
5) Entry permitted in the terminal with adequate protective gear like masks, gloves, shoe cover PPE etc. which are mandatory. Arrangement to be in place for making available the required protective gear for entry into the terminal on a chargeable basis.
6) Thermal Scanner & Sanitizer dispensers to be installed at all entry points for passengers as well as at staff gates, boarding and disembarkation points. Temperature screening needs to be done with validated equipment by staff having appropriate training and personal protective equipment (PPE).
7) Isolation zone in the terminal building & Airside to manage any passengers showing symptoms.
8) Airport Operators to explore the possibility of installing sanitizing tunnel, developed by DRDO at the airport entry.
9) Suspension of visitors entry into terminal/forecourt area.
10) Use of open-air ventilation wherever possible instead of Central airconditioning. Wherever, the same is not avoidable, change in air circulation every six hours. Filters to be replaced frequently
11) In case of exposure of a particular area in the terminal by the COVID-19 affected patient then disinfection of the terminal to be carried out
12) A questionnaire to be circulated to the passenger and filled up by them in advance about their past history related to COVID-19 and quarantine if any in last one month. Any passenger who has undergone quarantine in last one month to be sent for security at the isolated Security Check unit only.
13) Passenger reporting time at the airport to be increased to 2 hours.
14) Crew Pairing It is advisable to the roster, the same set of cabin and cockpit crew as long as possible, as it will help in preventing cross-contamination
15) Norms for cockpit crew entry in cockpit pre-flight and exit post-flight to be laid down.
16) Cockpit Entry - As far as possible, entry of ground staff and cabin crew in flight should be restricted to the minimum possible. Operators are required to develop procedures to ensure the same.
17) Entry in the aircraft - Operators shall have processes in place to restrict the entry of all personnel including maintenance, commercial, security staff etc. in the aircraft to a bare minimum.
18) If any crew or other staff comes in contact with COVID-19 patient or exposed to possible infection, the quarantine as per advisory of the Health Ministry. Airport operators and Health officials to have well-defined processes to handle COVID-19 positive cases or any other health emergency.
19) State Government to extend help at the airport where APHO set up does not exist
20) Before restarting, an audit of all arrangements by the regulators and health officials to ensure compliance. Subsequently, frequent random checks to ensure continued compliance.
Leaving From Home:
1) Familiarize themselves about the new procedures at the airport especially about the norms of social distancing, minimum touch, baggage limitations, COVID-19 questionnaire, register on Arogya Setu App, digital payments, use of authorized taxis, expect slower processes and hence avoid last-minute reaching the airport,
2) Web check-in only. Print Boarding Pass, check-in baggage ticket if required.
3) Passengers before entering the terminal to ensure the wearing of protective gear like a mask, gloves, shoe cover, PPE etc, as per the prevailing requirement.
4) Passenger to report at the airport as per revised reporting time i.e. D - 2 hours.
1) Easy Availability of hand sanitizer at the entry point and available at various touchpoints
2) Disinfecting of surfaces/touchpoints every 30 minutes like Rails near the entry gate.
3) Only passengers with departures in the next 6 hours will be allowed inside the airport Airport Operator
4) Adequate number of staff to be deployed for taking temperature of the passengers entering the terminal area, boarding and disembarkation points.
5) Passengers & staff showing any symptoms, Arogya Setu App not showing “green” are not to be allowed to enter the terminal building. Persons above the age of 80 years also to be restricted from travel in phase I of restarting of operations.
6) Passengers denied travel due to high temperature or age to be permitted to change their date of travel without penalty. Airlines to keep all such records.
7) Bleach cleaning mats at the entrance or any material which is capable of disinfecting shoes.
8) All trolleys in departure and arrival area to be disinfected (use of UV Tunnel, wherever possible)
9) Separate entry gates to be assigned to different airlines to avoid crowding
10) Social distance markings and separate seating in the forecourt area
11) Passenger with GREEN status on Aarogya Setu App only will be allowed to travel.
12) Passenger must submit filled up COVID-19 questionnaire about their past history related to COVID-19 and quarantine if any in last one month. Any passenger who has undergone quarantine in last one month to be sent for security at the isolated Security Check unit.
13) For passengers with special needs like a wheelchair, unaccompanied minor etc.. handling staff to be in full protection gears with pre sanitized wheelchairs.
14) Social distancing norm of 6 feet away for all queues to be maintained at the entry gate
15) Airports to identify areas for segregation and COVID -19 testing for suspected passengers
16) Passenger ID checks at the airport entry to be done away with to minimize rush at the entry as it has no significant value addition.
17) Temperature screening of all domestic departing and arriving passengers to be mandatory till threat from the pandemic is declared to be over