New Delhi: State-run Airports Authority of India plans to facilitate limited scheduled flight operations in phases and between city pairs, once the lockdown is over. At present, the extended national lockdown is till May 3. Also Read - Tamil Nadu: Airports Authority of India to Use Plastic Waste to Lay, Repair Roads in Airports
In post lockdown SoP document reviewed by IANS, the AAI plans to start “maybe at 30 per cent capacity” at airports with operations scaling up to original level in a gradual manner. Also Read - Airports Authority of India bans single-use plastic items
“Based on the social distancing norms, airports will work out the Terminal Building capacity and forward it to CHQ so that slot allocation for the planned scheduled flights post COVID 19 lockdown by airline operators can be done accordingly,” the SoP document read.
“The watch hours will continue to be limited initially and airlines should try to operate within the watch hours. However, the watch hours will be restored to original pre-COVID timings gradually once normalcy is restored.”
Besides, the SoP document called upon the use of only one terminal at airports which have more such buildings.
“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. The Flights schedule may be cleared on city pair basis, so the origin and destination airports are open fully from lockdown situation,” the document said.
“Airlines are required to fire their schedure with DGCA and simultaneously apply for slots at CHQ for approval well in advance to operate within the limited watch hours to be made available at airports, as initiaily the Summer2020 schedure cannot be fully implemented.”
Furthermore, the SoP document stated that slots will be provided for ensuring staggered operation based on capacity restriction of terminal buildings to facilitate required social distancing.
In addition, SoP document recommended airport managements to coordinate with state governments and local administration to ensure availability of public transport between the city and the airport.
Currently, the AAI has over 130 airports in its portfolio, whereas the ones in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad are handled by JV companies.