Kathmandu, June 6: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has issued fresh guidelines to operate flight services during the coronavirus emergency with the provision of status card for the domestic passengers and crew members, and passenger locator card for the international flights.
The passengers and crew members have to fill up the status card which demands the information like the COVID-19 check up and details of health problems. Anyone filling up false information and using flight service would be punished. Passengers of international flights should fill up the Passenger Locator Card and submit it to the health desk at the airport.
The ‘Guidance to airlines, airports and ground services for operations during COVID-19’ is issued with the objective of providing a source of best practices on how the airport, airline operators should conduct commercial and non-commercial flights. It aims at protecting the passengers from the COVID-19 infection at the airports and in flights.
It applies to all stakeholders including air operators, airport operators, ground service providers, aviation personnel, airport staff, and other concerned agencies.
The guidelines were issued on Wednesday as the nation was prepared to receive Nepali nationals from foreign countries, specially the Gulf countreis and Malaysia. On Friday, Nepalis from Burma and the United Arab Emirates were rescued.
Although the date of the resumption of the aviation service for the domestic flights is still unknown, the service is likely to resume from the next month as the government is mulling to relax the lockdown in the less risky areas.
The CAAN said that initially only limited flights to some specific sectors based on safety assessment would be allowed. Gradual increment in schedule will be executed based on evaluation of situation.
According to the guidelies, the passengers with suggestive coronavirus symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath and loss of taste or smell would not be accepted for flight and everyone should be wearing a medical mask.
“Only those passengers will be accepted for flight if the mandatory temperature screening results in 38 degree farenheight or lower.
They should follow cough etiquette and carry adequate number of medical face masks for entire duration of travel starting from check in to bagage claim,” read the guidelines.
Meeting and greeting at airport would not be permitted, passengers should bring their personal belongings like pens and sanitising towels, and onboard newspapers and magazines would not be available.
Likewise, inflight catering in domestic flight, onboard sale and pet animals are barred.
It is advised the passengers aged above 70 years, pregnant women and individuals with serious medical problems should avoid air travel.
The airlines companies should educate their staff members from qualified medical practitioner, as far as practicable, to regognise the symptoms of COVID-19 and provide instructions on actions to be taken if passengers develop such symptoms during flight.
Each airlines operator shold develop a standard operation procedure to run services during the health crisis and submit it to the CAAN for approval prioro to resumption of flight, according to the guidelines.
The aviation sector regulator has maintained that the aircraft should be disinfected as per the CAAN prescribed methods.
It asked the companies to promote paperless check-in and boarding with mobile app, arrange hand sanitiser for the passengers and crew, ensure physical distancing during check-in, embarkation and disembarkation, provide face masks, gloves, goggles to the crew and disinfect the passenger bus before each trip.
– The Rising Nepal