India: Standard Operating Procedures to Restart Aviation Industry
Standard Operating Procedures on Exit Strategy for Airports, Airlines and Passengers
On 24 March 2020, the Government of India initiated a nationwide lockdown for a period of twenty- one days, limiting movement of the general public as a preventive measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in India. The lockdown was further followed by a series of enforcement of other regulations in the country’s COVID-19 affected regions.
Given the extent of the spread of the COVID-19 infection, these indicative Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on Exit Strategy for Airports, Airlines and Passengers are a step in the right direction with an aim to reduce the risk of the further propagation, while enabling the restart of aviation in India. It will require all stakeholders to cooperate and implement these processes in an integrated manner. Further, there may be additional action steps for the next phase as per the situation prevalent at the point of time. All the airport operators and airlines may have to revamp their existing processes to introduce the prescribed changes in line with these indicative SOPs, which may include significant cost implications. These guidelines, along with new processing and distancing requirements, will most likely necessitate the reduction of flight handling capacity of the airports until such norms remain in place.
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