In a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) circulated to all airports on Wednesday, the AAI said once the lockdown period is over; airports shall be facilitating limited domestic/ international scheduled flights in a phased manner. “To start with, may be at 30% capacity to facilitate social distancing. The operations to its original level are likely to be scaled up in gradual manner.
India has been under lockdown since 25 March due to the on-going global Covid-19 pandemic.
The new guidelines impose restrictions on the number of terminals that will be operational, as well as the food and beverage outlets.
According to the AAI guidelines, “Initially, it is presumed that airline operations will be limited to Tier-I cities i.e. metros and some of the state capitals and major Tier-II cities.”
According to the guidelines, airports with more than one terminal will have to initially operate only one terminal after the lockdown.
In addition, alternate baggage carousels should be used to ensure that social distancing is maintained.
The guidelines added: “Limited food and beverages and retail outlets to be made available to the passengers till operations of airlines gradually increases. Initially, they should serve tea / coffee etc., with takeaway snacks in boxes.”
Bars and restaurants in airports will not be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages unless they receive permission from city or state administration.
The airports will also have to allocate different parking stands and baggage belts for aircraft that arrive from Covid-19 hotspots.
AAI manages over 100 airports in the country. However, airports in the key metro cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad are managed by private companies.
The airports announced that they would install markings to ensure 1.5m distance in queues and will set up temporary quarantine centres.