Airports will have to provide a host of facilities once the lockdown lifts and passengers are allowed to fly
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has issued post-lockdown guidelines for 100 airports.
Airlines will operate only to and from some Tier-I cities, state capitals and major Tier-II cities. Both the source and destination of a flight will need to be in areas free of lockdown.
Airports with multiple terminals can operate only one to save on resources to disinfect. The authority has also asked airport heads to set up enough staff at key areas like washrooms, X-Ray machines and conveyor belts to facilitate the passengers.
Check-in counters should be opened earlier than the normal to avoid congestion, it added. Airport authorities must ensure availability of transport services like buses, taxis for both passengers and airline staff.
Passengers will have to keep 1.5 metres distance. Hand sanitising facilities should be provided at multiple locations in the airport. Alternate baggage carousels will have to be used. Spa centres and massage chair facilities would remain closed for safety.
Only tea / coffee and takeaway snacks will be available. No alcoholic beverages will be served at airports. Airports like Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad which are managed by private companies have also come up with strict measures like to tackle the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has scrapped the summer 2020 plans of airline operators. New plans will be out shortly that will reschedule the flights in a staggered way to reduce crowding.
The airlines need to submit their flight schedule to DGCA and also apply to the AAI for the approval of slots, the guidelines say. Airports will also have temporary COVID-19 quarantine centres. These centres should have adequate doctors and paramedics to screen incoming passengers.
India suspended commercial flights on March 25, 2020. Only cargo and medical evacuation flights have been allowed by the DGCA.
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