As the world keenly awaits a credible solution like vaccine to stop the spread of COVID-19, doctor and political leaders around the world are working hard to revive the economy, with least effect from the virus. We have to live with this virus, or this is the new normal has been common saying these days.
But as we look at the restarting the economy, things will change, more particularly towards maintaining hygiene to reduce the chances to getting infected. Things like social distancing, hand sanitizers, face masks are becoming part of our life.
The biggest problem that we are going to face is while travelling, and especially travelling via air. The most hard hit industry, civil aviation is also said to be the biggest transmitter of virus as people fly from all across the world and hence it is of utmost importance for aviation industry to reform the way we travel and focus on safety of passengers.
Just a few days ago, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted a photo of the passengers traveling on the repatriation flight from Singapore to Delhi. In his tweet, the minister quoted the lyrics of popular song ‘The Times are a Changing’ by Bob Dylan.
The times they are a changing! Not a scene from a sci-fi blockbuster but a picture of passengers with face shields onboard the Singapore-Mumbai flight which landed earlier today. Preventive measures are the new normal. Changes are here to stay.@MoCA_GoI @airindiain pic.twitter.com/xMRvYS549Z— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 10, 2020
The tweet read – "The times they are a-changing! Not a scene from a sci-fi blockbuster but a picture of passengers with face shields on-board the Singapore-Mumbai flight which landed earlier today. Preventive measures are the new normal. Changes are here to stay,"
Mr Puri was true to the sense that flying will become a lot different than it used to be. We bring you top 5 ways air travel will change and what we can expect when flying once the lockdown and travel ban is over-
Comprehensive Health Checkup
Not just airports, but health checkup has become mandatory for any person who wants to enter a large complex. However airports are a special case as a lot of people fly in from different areas, increasing the probability of contamination. While temperature checks using thermal gun will be done at the entry, one has to fill form before traveling to reveal the health history. Also, mandatory Aarogya Setu app will help track the health history too.
Airports are usually full of hustle-bustle, especially the ones in India, like the Delhi and Mumbai airports. However, a lot of people will refrain from traveling until the early next year, especially for leisure activities. This will result in deserted airports, mostly filled with people traveling for work or emergency. Also, airports will close all common areas like smoking room, prayer room and dining area.
Personal Protective Equipment
The only and most efficient way to stop the spread of coronavirus is by wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). While the face mask is the bare minimum PPE one can wear, it's advisable to use gloves and face shields. This, however, is limited to only passengers. Cabin crew and pilots will be wearing full body PPE including body suit apart from security staff from CISF.
Sanitization All Around
Apart from PPE, regular sanitization is the other option to keep the covid-19 at bay. While airport staff will keep the airports clean including the seating area, planes will also be fully sanitized after each flight. The packed food items served on the plane will be properly cleaned too. However, the biggest newsmaker is the UV bag cleaner installed at the Delhi airport. UV scanners will be installed and all bags have to pass through them.
Technology and security
Lastly, technology will be enhanced manifolds to support the cleaniless drive and security measures. BACS, the nodal security body has stopped the stamping of boarding passes and additional CCTV cameras will be installed to keep a check on passengers. Similarly, mandatory web checkin will be required before boarding the flight. Movable UV towers will be install near seating areas.