The DGCA has asked the airline companies to continue with the restriction on food and beverage facilities aboard flight except in conditions that will arise out of health emergencies.
In order to uphold the social distancing norms in air journeys, the Director-General of Civil Aviation has directed airline companies to allow bookings in such a manner that the middle seats on planes remain vacant to a possible extent, news agency PTI has reported. The new guidelines will come into effect starting June 3. In case, booking could not be managed to keep the middle seat vacant, airline companies should make special arrangements for passengers opting for middle seats on planes, the DGCA has recommended. However, the DGCA has allowed an exception to this rule and said that a family member of the passengers sitting on the adjacent two seats can be allowed to avail the middle seat.
In a special arrangement for the passengers opting for middle seats, the DGCA has suggested airline companies to provide protective equipment like ‘wrap around gown’ of standard approved by the Ministry of Textiles. The gown should be in addition to the facilities such as a three-layered face mask and face shield, and adequate sanitiser in a bottle or sachets which the DGCA has recommended for every air passenger and has asked airline companies to provide it to their passengers.
The DGCA has asked the airline companies to continue with the restriction on food and beverage facilities aboard flight except in conditions that will arise out of health emergencies. The DGCA has also advised airline companies to set the air conditioner on planes in such a manner that air gets replaced in the shortest possible interval of time.
On the issue of sanitization of planes and their facilities, the DGCA has asked airline operators to sanitize airlines’ lavatories at a frequent interval during a journey. The agency has asked companies to ensure proper sanitization of aircraft after the end of each flight day. On a connecting flight, the DGCA has asked operators to ensure proper sanitisation of seats that will be vacated at a connecting airport. Personalised equipment on board such as seat belts and other contact points should be given extra attention while sanitising the aircraft, the DGCA suggested further.
The DGCA has also asked airline companies to ensure order for the entry and exit of passengers so that they follow a sequential pattern while embarkation and disembarkation in and out of the aircraft and they avoid creating a rush at the gates that can compromise social distancing between passengers.
On the protection of airline crew and staff, the DGCA has asked airline companies to conduct regular checkups of their staffs and also provide protective equipment to them in order to protect them from coronavirus infection. Airline companies have also been asked to give proper attention in case there is a Covid-related emergency onboard. Affected and adjoining seats to be sanitized and the whole aircraft is to be disinfected.