A day after Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced that domestic flight operations will start from 25 May, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) today issued a SOPs For Domestic Flights and airports.

As per the standard operating procedure (SOP) to airport operators, the Aarogya Setu app will not be mandatory for children below 14 years of age.

Passengers will have to report two hours in advance and only those who have a departure scheduled in the next four hours will be allowed to enter the terminal building, the Airport Authority of India’s fresh guidelines on domestic air travel state.

However, the civil aviation ministry has categorically stated this will not be the final standard operating procedure or SOPs For Domestic Flights.

The ministry has said the final guidelines on the resumption of air travel will be issued by the ministry later in the day.

“The AAI will have to follow the guidelines decided by the civil aviation ministry and the DGCA,” a senior government official said.

India will resume domestic flights beginning May 25, the government said on Wednesday, announcing a gradual reboot of air travel that was halted two months ago on the account of the lockdown imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in India.

“All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for passenger movement are also being separately issued by the civil aviation ministry,” civil aviation minister Hardeep Puri tweeted.

Highlights of the SOP that has to be followed by airport operators for the resumption of domestic flights:

  • Passengers will have to reach the airport for two hours in advance of flight time
  • Passengers should wear masks and gloves
  • Only those whose flight is in the next four hours will be allowed to enter the terminal building
  • Passengers to undergo thermal screening before entering the terminal building
  • Those that don’t show ‘green’ on Aarogya Setu will not be allowed to enter an airport
  • Trolley use to be avoided. Will be available to a select few passengers on a request basis
  • Sanitization of baggage before entry into the terminal
  • Mats soaked in bleach to be placed at the entry for disinfection of shoes
  • At passenger touchpoints, staff to either wear face shields behind the counter or put glass wall at the counter
  • Constant announcements about social distancing and other norms
  • Boarding and deplaning in batches to maintain social distance
  • All airport staff to wear PPEs and hand sanitizers for staff and passenger