Airports Authority of India issues SOPs day after Centre says domestic flights to resume from 25 May in 'calibrated manner'
All passenger flights were stopped in late March following the announcement of a nationwide lockdown to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The day after Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri announced that domestic passenger flights would resume from 25 May, the Airports Authority of India issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to all airports.
Puri said that the operations will be resumed in a “calibrated manner” adding that all airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations.
All passenger flight services were stopped in late March following the announcement of a nationwide lockdown to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, cargo, medical evacuation and special flights were allowed by the aviation regulator DGCA to operate during the lockdown period.
During the time of lockdown, the government had started flights under Mission Vande Bharat to bring back stranded Indians from other countries.
In an interview to the Economic Times, Puri said that the ministry has been ready to resume domestic civil aviation for the last one week or so. He added that after receiving green signal from the government, it will take two or three days for the airlines to begin bookings and calibrate the number of flights that can resume operations.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) earlier this month had asked all airports in the country to be in preparedness to handle flight operations, The Indian Express reported.
The Airports Authority of India has issued guidelines for the resumption of flights. According to the guidelines, passengers will need to follow stringent social distancing norms after operations resume. These will include measures such as maintaining at least four-feet distance from other co-passengers and sporting masks.
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