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Domestic flights to begin operations from May 25 in a calibrated manner: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri added that all the standard operating protocols (SOPs) for passenger movement is also being separately issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The Narendra Modi government on Wednesday announced that domestic flight operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from 25 May.

The Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri took to Twitter to make the announcement. He added that all the standard operating protocols (SOPs) for passenger movement is also being separately issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Limited operations

Reportedly, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which is responsible for managing civil aviation infrastructure in the country has also finalised its standard operating procedure for the resumption of commercial flights operations.

The state-run authority, which handles air traffic control services across India, expects 30% scheduled flights to get operational in the initial days, especially between big cities and expects to gradually scale up the operations. Similarly, airlines are likely to operate between tier-I cities initially.

Earlier, the national carrier Air India (AI) had also asked its pilots and cabin crew details to be ready to resume operations once lockdown is over by mid-May this year.

The SOP also stated that at initially only one terminal shall be used in airports with more than one terminal. The larger terminal will be reduced to ensure proper sanitation considering the limited availability of material resources. Strict social distancing norms will be introduced inside the planes to ensure space between two passengers.

India has suspended international flights since March 22 while domestic flights were prohibited from March 25. The current lockdown period is scheduled until May 3 for now.

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