Only web check-in, no cabin baggage for aviation sector

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New Delhi: The Civil Aviation Ministry may allow only web check-in for air passengers and prohibit any cabin baggage when the airlines resume services in the coming days.

The suggestions are part of a draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which is under discussion. The suggestions were sought by the ministry from airlines and airports.

"The suggestions have now been received. The final SOP is yet to be issued," the ministry said in a statement.

The safety procedures also include issuing a health questionnaire for the passengers. "A questionnaire to be circulated to the passengers and filled up by them in advance about their past history related to COVID-19 and quarantine, if any, in the last one month. Any passenger who has undergone quarantine in the last one month would be sent for scrutiny at the isolated Security Check unit only," it said.

As per the draft document, passengers will have to report at the airport two hours prior to the departure time. The draft SOP said: "Web check-in only. Print boarding pass, check-in baggage ticket if required."

In the initial phase of the service resumption, no cabin baggage would be allowed and checked-in baggage would be only one unit, with a weight of less than 20 kg.

Social distance markings, disinfecting of all common areas like lifts, travelators, escalators, chairs in seating areas, food and beverage (F&B) and retail outlets would be done and availability of movable hand wash cart or alcohol based hand sanitisers at regular intervals within the terminal would be ensured.

Airport operators may have to explore the possibility of installing sanitising tunnel, developed by the DRDO, at the airport entry, as per the draft document.

In another major move, visitors may be disallowed from entry into the terminal or the forecourt area, if the proposed SOP gets the green light.

Further, it proposes a social distancing norm of 6 feet away for all queues to be maintained at the entry gate. "Airports to identify areas for segregation and Covid-19 testing for suspected passengers," it said.

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