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Domestic flight services resume: All you need to know

As the passengers reached airports in various cities, they had to undergo thermal scanning and saw some new norms in place before boarding a flight.

Updated: May 25, 2020 08:12 IST

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times New Delhi

A member of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) checks the ID of a woman through a glass shield, after the government allowed domestic flight services to resume from Monday, at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in New Delhi. (Reuters Photo)

Indian skies opened up for domestic passenger services on Monday after a gap of two months. Hundreds of people reached the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi to take early morning flights to their hometowns and workplaces.

All scheduled commercial passenger flights were suspended on March 25 when the government imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

As the passengers reached airports in various cities, they had to undergo thermal scanning and saw some new norms in place before boarding a flight.

Here’s how flying has changed in these two months:



• All passengers to undergo thermal screening; only asymptomatic people can board the flights.

• Passengers have been advised to download the Aarogya Setu mobile application.

• It is mandatory to wear a face mask throughout the travel.

• People with symptoms to be taken to health facility. Decision on home or institutional quarantine will depend on severity of symptoms and test results.

• All passengers have been advised to monitor their health for 14 days after travel, inform authorities if they develop symptoms.

Apart from this, the state governments have been allowed to set their own rules for flyers. Discussions were held between the Centre and the state governments after which the number of flights which will go to or take off from various states was also decided. So, here’s a look at the rules set by states and how many flights are allowed from where:

Mumbai

50 flights per day have been allowed from one of the worst-affected cities due to the coronavirus. The passengers coming to Mumbai will get home quarantine stamps even if they don’t have symptoms; those on short visit are exempt.

Hyderabad

30 flights a day have been allowed in Hyderabad. Passengers with Covid-19 symptoms have been asked to self-isolate. Those who don’t show any symptoms, can go through.

Kolkata

The West Bengal government held discussion with the Centre on Sunday, and it was decided that the flight services will resume from Kolkata from May 28. Apart from this, among the protocols decided by the state government include testin of all symptomatic people for Covid-19. The passengers have also been asked to submit self-declaration forms on arrival when flight services resume.

Chennai

The Tamil Nadu government has come on board with the central government’s plan to resume domescit flight services. The passengers have been asked to declare if they had Covid-19 in last two months. A 14-day quarantine is mandatory fo all the travellers.

Bengaluru

Passengers from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have been asked to undergo seven-day institutional quarantine followed by seven days of home quarantine. Those coming from other states will have to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

Delhi

The Delhi government has said that it will adhere to guidelines set by the Union health ministry. This means that passengers who don’t show symptoms of the coronavirus disease will be permitted to go through after reaching their destination with the advice that they monitor their health for the next 14 days.

The resumption of flight has not come without change in airport protocols. Here’s a look at revised standard operating procedure at Delhi airport:

Outside the terminal

• Outside the terminal, passengers can check-in through kiosk

• After web check-in, the passenger heads towards the airline-allowed entry gate. A guard will check the flyer’s temperature and status on Aarogya Setu app. If they don’t have the app, the flyers will have to fill out a self-declaration form.

Entering the airport

• A security person behind a glass curtain will check the boarding passes and identity cards.

• The passenger then heads to the terminal and goes through a thermal scanner.

• Carpets are soaked in sanitising chemicals to ensure shoes are disinfected.

• Hand sanitisers will be placed at gates for use by flyers.

Baggage scanning

• Before entering the terminal, passengers will put their luggage in a sanitising machine where the bags will be treated with ultraviolet radiation to sanitise them.

Check-in

• The passenger heads to check-in counters where they can opt for self baggage check-in.

• Baggage tags will no longer be issued, and passengers will get an SMS to confirm luggage check-in.

Security check

• The passengers moves to the security hold area with the one allowed ‘hand-bag’. Here, contactless screening will be conducted using metal detectors and security personnel will scan the boarding pass before allowing passenger to the boarding area.

At waiting area

• Shops in non-aero areas will adhere to stringent safety, health and hygiene rules. All F&B retail shops will be open and orders can be placed on apps or kiosks.

• Passengers will sit at alternate seats, with more seating space added.

• Drinking-water fountains will be foot-pedal operated and washrooms will be deep-cleaned regularly.

• On buses for boarding, only alternate seats to be used.

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