Delhi’s Indra Gandhi International Airport is all set to resume flight operations which were suspended due to the breakthrough of COVID-19, disease by the spread of the coronavirus.
All operations will be resumed under strict rules.
India has suspended domestic flights for over a month from March 25, the first day of the 21-day nationwide lockdown, which was later extended till May 3. All the international flights to and from India had been suspended from 22 March.
It is expected that from May 3, all flight operations will resume. The Delhi airport operator, various airlines and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which handles airport security, came together to formalize a plan which depicts the handling of hundreds of passengers after the airport is reopened, and at the same time, it is ensured that social distancing is being followed and high standards of sanitation to keep the COVID-19 infection from spreading.
An officer from the CISF, who is anonymous, said that the planning is that as soon as a passenger arrives at the terminal, their body temperature will be screened. The officer added that passengers with zero symptoms of flu, will only be allowed, and passengers, not wearing masks will also be restricted from entering the building.
Further adding he said that, for security clearances, passengers will not have to wait in a queue, rather they will be divided into batches and separated seat arrangement will be provided, to ensure social distancing, will be there for them and, passengers will be asked to remain seated until they are called for security check. As planned, their men will carry out touch-free frisking using metal detectors and a safe distance will be maintained from the passenger at all times, as said by the officer.
The CISF officer added that this whole process of temperature screening at the terminal entrance and the newly introduced “sit-&-wait” rule in the security hold area (SHA) may cause a delay of five to seven minutes per passenger and therefore all passengers will need to reach the terminal well in advance and cooperate with the CISF and airport staff.
GoAir said that all flight meals and beverages will be suspended to ensure minimum interaction between passengers and crew.
Meanwhile, Indigo will reopen only domestic flights and all international routes will be opened slowly.