The Centre on Wednesday said domestic flight services would resume from Monday in a “calibrated manner”, laying the ground for gradual resumption of scheduled commercial flight operations that have been shut since March 25.
“Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday May 25, 2020. All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from May 25. SOPs for passenger movement are also being separately issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation,” Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted.
All domestic passenger flight operations have been suspended for the 54-day lockdown period that began on March 25. However, cargo flights, medical evacuation flights and special flights approved by the aviation regulator DGCA were allowed to operate.
The development comes despite some state governments, including West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, expressing concern on resuming flight operations during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief ministers. In addition to this, certain state governments have been apprehensive of allowing people from locations highly impacted by Covid-19 to enter their borders.
A number of new rules and regulations are expected to be put into place that will change the flying experience. These include mandatory social distancing at airports, revisions in the way security procedures are conducted to ensure minimal contact, use of face masks and personal protective equipment by passengers and employees, among others. A variety of new health checks may also be instituted that could result in longer queues at airports and increased wait times.
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