Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of resumption of the much-awaited domestic passenger flight services, Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar is all set to make passenger management ‘touch free’ as a precautionary measure to keep COVID-19 at bay.

BPIA director, VV Rao informed that a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is ready and they are waiting for necessary instructions so that flight operations can resume at the airport.

As soon as passengers reach the terminal, they no longer need to hand over their tickets and identity proofs to the Central Industrial Security Force staff as the security personnel will go through their documents from behind a glass shield.

Special arrangements have also been made to ensure that the airport personnel use cameras to check the documents, boarding card and other details of concerned passengers. However, provision of stamping of boarding cards has been removed, Rao informed.

Airport officials informed that glass panels have been installed at most of the check-in counters so that airline employees don’t come in direct contact of passengers.

“A detailed plan is in place for resumption of flights services in a calibrated manner at Bhubaneswar airport. We have developed a touch-free mechanism while adequate measures have been taken to ensure social distancing right from their arrival to exit,” said Rao.

Union Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri yesterday informed that domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from May 25, 2020 and all airports and air carriers are being informed to gear up for operations.

Meanwhile, the Centre has asked airlines to set ticket prices within the prescribed lower and upper limits.

While announcing guidelines to be followed for resumption of services, Puri today said that airlines will not be allowed to provide meals on board and passengers will be required to wear face masks right before entering the terminal till the end of the journey. The cabin crew will also have to be in full protective suit and people staying in containment zones will not be allowed to travel initially.

As per the guidelines, passengers would have to certify their status in terms of #Coronavirus infection through the Aarogya Setu app or a self-declaration form. In the initial stage, a passenger would be entitled to carry one check-in baggage as per the specifications of the airline of his travel.

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(Edited by Bikram Jena)

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