Domestic flights to start operating at Delhi airport T3 after lockdown: Sources

Flight operations will be resuming at the Indira Gandhi International Airport’s Terminal 3 after the extended nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 ends, sources said on Sunday.

Sources said that the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has decided to operationalise T3 first at the Delhi airport. Domestic flight services will be resuming to begin with, they said.

However, the final guidelines and approval is awaited from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the sources said. In case the Aviation Ministry advises otherwise, the plans to open the airport could be amended.

The airport will keep all food, beverage and retail shops open to avoid overcrowding at one place and use “ultraviolet disinfection tunnels” for all incoming baggage, according to a plan prepared by the GMR group-led Delhi International Airport Ltd.

The plan said the passengers of Vistara and IndiGo would enter the airport through gates 1 and 2 only. These two airlines will have check-in rows A, B and C among them, it said.

AirAsia India and Air India passengers will use entry gates 3 and 4. These passengers will then go to rows D, E and F where the staff of these two airlines would assist them check-in, according to the plan.

SpiceJet and GoAir passengers would enter through gate 5 towards the staff of these two airlines at rows G and H for check-in.

Passengers of all other domestic airlines will enter through gate 5 and will head to row H, the plan said.

All international airlines’ passengers would be entering the airport using gates 6, 7 and 8. The staff of these airlines would be sitting at rows J, K, L and M for check-in at Terminal 3.

The DIAL’s exit plan stated that entry gates, self-check-in machines and check-in bays would be allocated to airlines to ensure smooth flow of passengers from forecourt into check-in hall and security thereafter.

India has been under a lockdown since March 25 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected around 40,000 people and killed more than 1,300 people in the country till now.

All commercial passenger flights have been suspended for the lockdown period. However, cargo flights, medical evacuation flights and special flights permitted by the aviation regulator DGCA are allowed to operate.

“Initially, once the lockdown is over, the commercial passenger fights will be operating from Terminal 3 only. Later, once the number of flights increase, other terminals will be used,” the DIAL official said.

The DIAL would be preparing stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) for food, beverage and retail shops in order to ensure social distancing, the exit plan noted.

The operator will promote digital payments and digital menus at various outlets to minimise human contact. Moreover, DIAL would encourage usage of self-ordering kiosks at the food court to reduce queues.

(With PTI inputs)

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