Days after accessing the information that Government of India is in discussion with airlines to start scheduled commercial flight services post the lockdown on May 17, CNN-News18 has accessed exclusive information that the domestic flight services could resume well before that. It could even lift as soon as in the next two or three days.
As per the top govt sources, the decision is not yet final. The government has laid down a detailed SOP for resuming the flight services, some of which include no catering for a flight duration of under two hours. Some snacks, however, could still be offered.
The flights, once operational, will have to operate in a limited capacity and will connect major cities. Keeping in mind the safety of the passengers and the staff involved in the functioning of a flight, SOPs will be placed and only healthy people will be allowed to travel.
Here are some of the SOPs set by government before resuming the flight services in a staggered manner -
- No catering in flights with travel duration less than two hours
- Some snacks type item will be served
- Only healthy people will be allowed to travel
- No cabin baggage is allowed
- Only web-checkin allowed
- No use of common area like smoking and prayer rooms
- Mandatory to have Aarogya Setu App on phone
- Mandatory to wear protective gear like mask and hand gloves
- Passengers will fill a form declaring their COVID-19 history, if they were quarantined
- Separate seats at the back for suspected persons
Recently, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has made operational several technology-based unique facilities at Delhi Airport, including specially designed UV (ultraviolet) based tunnels to disinfect checkpoint trays and baggage, mobile UV tower to disinfect surfaces in the terminal area and handheld UV devices. In addition, passenger trolley disinfection system and walk-in shoe sanitizer mats will also be made available for passenger safety.
The used trolleys and trays can be passed one after another, where each of them shall take approximately five seconds to come out virus-free. DIAL has also installed UV tunnel at Terminal 3 of the Delhi Airport that will help in disinfection of passenger bags. The prototype has been installed at baggage belt area.
A live CCTV feed of UV scanning process mounted at Baggage Reclaim hall allows the passengers to see the disinfecting process, in which high-intensity UV lamps are being used for on-line disinfection of their bags.
As for the aim to provide enhanced IAQ (Indoor Air Quality), DIAL has also installed more than 700 UV lamps in AHU (312 units). To enhance passenger safety and comply with COVID-19 safety measures, Mobile Disinfecting Towers have been developed and provided at the airport to disinfect various locations of terminal buildings.
These moveable towers will be placed in properly cordoned areas of the terminal, where UV lamps will be operated and disinfection will be done in particular areas. Once disinfection is completed, UV power will be switched off and towers will manually be re-located to other areas for similar processes.
Additionally, handheld disinfection torch will also available at the airport to disinfect desktop, laptops and other devices.