Filling up of a detailed questionnaire related to Covid-19, carrying no cabin baggage, using Aarogya Setu app and reaching airport at least two hours before a flight departure might well be among the requirements for air passengers during the initial phase after resumption of commercial flights.The civil aviation ministry has come out with a draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for restarting commercial air passenger services in the country, which remain suspended since march 25 in the wake of the lockdown to curb spreading of coronavirus infections.
Green status on Aarogya Setu app, web check-in, and temperature checks for all domestic departing and arriving passengers have also been proposed.The draft SOP, accessed by PTI, has also mooted rostering the same set of cabin and cockpit crew as long as possible in order to prevent possible cross contamination. Not just for passengers, the draft SOP has suggested measures that could be followed by security agencies as well as airport operators, including doing away with identity card checks at airport entry gates and ensuring social distancing requirements.
Another suggestion is to keep three rows of an aircraft vacant for isolating any passenger who has a medical emergency onboard. The draft SOP was prepared after discussions with stakeholders, including airlines and airport operators. Comments have been sought from the stakeholders on it, according to sources. Notably, the draft document is silent on leaving the middle seat of the aircraft vacant for maintaining social distancing. Aviation regulator DGCA had made a suggestion about leaving middle seat vacant, prior to suspension of commercial flight services in March. According to the document, passengers should be advised to familiarise themselves about the new procedures at the airport, especially about social distancing norms and ensuring minimum touching of various surfaces.