Smooth domestic flight operations in progress under effective anti-COVID-19 SOPs
ISLAMABAD: The partial domestic flight operations, the government allowed at five major airports of the country after almost a 56-day suspension on May 16, was progressing in a smooth manner under the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), adopted to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Elaborate safety measures are in place to ensure the maintaining of social distance during flights, being operated by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Serene Air, and at Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar airports.
Besides, under an extensive awareness drive, banner-stands have been placed at the airport lounges to educate passengers about importance of social distancing, washing of hands with soap and use of hand-sanitizers, wearing of masks and gloves to tackle the virus threat, according to video clips and images shared by the Aviation Division.
“Baggage is disinfected upon arrival and passengers are not allowed to collect their luggage on their own from the belt. Social distancing is maintained at every stage in strict compliance of the SOPs,” a spokesman for the Aviation Division said in a brief statement.
The two airlines were operating their flights with 50 percent seat occupancy to maintain the required social distance among passengers during the air travel.
Under the SOPs, the Aviation Division has made disinfection of aircraft prior to boarding of passengers, maintaining at least one vacant-seat distance between the passengers, wearing of face masks and use of hand-sanitizer mandatory for the flight operations. Besides, no food and beverages are allowed during flights.
The airlines are maintaining emergency Personal Protection Equipment in every aircraft to deal with any health emergency during flights.
While, every passenger fills a health declaration form prior to boarding the aircraft, containing identification of the passenger, brief travel history during past two weeks, current health state and an undertaking to comply with the SOPs.
The air passengers undergo thermal scanning while on arrival and departure at the airports. “Anyone with raised body temperature on visible symptoms of COVID-19 is examined by a health professional and required action, if any, is taken as per advice of the health professional.”
No meet or greet is allowed at the airports and drivers stay inside their vehicles in the parking lot as no protocol is allowed beyond the briefing area. - APP