Social Distancing on aircraft guidelines notified by DGCA

While people have reduced flying to a minimum at the moment and most aircraft are flying with a bare minimum number of people at the moment, airlines still have to fly aircraft to ensure regular services are available to those who need to travel in an emergency, and also to protect their slots.

Airlines and Airports have now been notified of new Social Distancing measures by their regulator, to be followed immediately. Everything primarily comes around to maintaining safe distance at the airport and on the aircraft.

  1. Airlines:
    1. Ensure adequate spacing at Check-in counters between passengers (minimum One meter) and also between each individual counters.
    2. Ensure availability of adequate staff for guiding the passengers at Check-in counters and during Security Checks.
    3. Passengers to be advised to sit at an adequate distance in the waiting area, keeping one seat vacant.
    4. Ensure that boarding is done in a manner to avoid bunching of passengers at any time and also ensure adequate spacing between passengers in boarding lines.
    5. Provide sanitizers for staff and passengers at the entry of the aircraft.
    6. Cabin Crew to maintain adequate distance while serving the passengers.
    7. Seat allocation at the time of Check-in to be done in a manner to ensure that the seat between two passengers is kept empty.
    8. Any other action as deemed appropriate to ensure social distancing is maintained.
  2. Airports:
    1. Ensure adequate Check-in counters and Security Check counters to avoid the congestion of passengers.
    2. Ensure an adequate number of staff at Check-in and Security areas to guide passengers in order to avoid any bunching.
    3. Provide sanitizers at all prominent locations and carry out repeated public address announcements to sensitize passengers and airport staff.
    4. Passengers to be advised to sit at an adequate distance while waiting, keeping one seat vacant.
    5. Any other action as deemed appropriate to ensure social distancing is maintained.

I am not sure if airlines need to change their seat selection algorithms at the moment or will just to file this under advice and may or may not comply with it. But with empty aircraft, it should be easy to live with this situation for the time being. Some airlines outside India have already implemented such measures.

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