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DGCA Issues New Directions For Domestic Air Travel; Urges Middle Seat To Be Kept Vacant

The DGCA on Monday issued fresh directions to safeguard the health of the passengers travelling by air. These directions will come into effect from June 3.

Written By
Akhil Oka

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Monday, June 1, issued fresh directions to safeguard the health of the passengers travelling by air. These directions are based on the recommendations of an Expert Committee constituted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on May 26 taking into account the observations of the apex court. The mandate of the aforesaid committee was to review and strengthen the public health protocols of air travel. These directions shall come into effect for all stakeholders from June 3. 

Read: Coronavirus Live Updates: India Sees Spike Of 8,392 New Cases; Total Tally At 1,90,535

Read the new directions here: 

  • Airlines will provide safety kits comprising a three-layered surgical mask, face shield and adequate sanitizer to all passengers
  • Airlines shall allot seats in a manner that middle seat (seat between two passengers) is kept vacant if the passenger load and seat capacity permits the same
  • However, members of the same family will be allowed to sit together
  • In the scenario of the middle seat being occupied, additional protective equipment like 'wrap-around gown' shall be provided to the individual occupying the intervening seat
  • No meals or drinking water should be served on board except for extreme circumstances arising due to health reasons
  • Airlines will ensure orderly entry and exit of all passengers
  • Airlines shall set the air conditioning system in a way that the air gets replaced at the shortest possible intervals
  • Special attention for sanitization of aircraft
  • Lavatories on board should be frequently cleaned during the flight
  • Airlines must not only carry out regular health check-up of all crew members but also provide full protection suits to flying crew
  • Airlines shall explore the possibility of having a disinfection tunnel for passengers after fully evaluating its health implications on human beings
  • The earlier prescribed guidelines will also continue 

Read: AI Makes It Mandatory For Crew To Check pre-flight COVID-19 Test Results Are Negative

Domestic flight operations resume

Currently, there are 1,90,535 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India, out of which 91,819 patients have been discharged while 5394 casualties have been reported. Since the resumption of domestic flight operations on May 25 till 23.59 hours on May 31, 89,271 passengers have been ferried across the country. Earlier in the day, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri opined that the ability to resume international flights will improve due to the new guidelines announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the fifth phase of the lockdown. 

Read: Akshay Kumar Rubbishes Reports Of Booking Entire Flight For Sister, Mulls Legal Action

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