Ensure a vacant seat between two flyers for social distancing, DGCA tells airlines

Ensure a vacant seat between two flyers for social distancing, DGCA tells airlines

NEW DELHI: Keep one seat vacant between two passengers onboard aircraft to ensure social distancing and also make sure that airports have minimum one-metre spacing at check-in counters and waiting areas, the aviation regulator said on Monday. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued social distancing measures to be adopted by airlines and airport operators to prevent spread of COVID-19. Also, the government has asked airlines not to accept passengers with “home quarantined” on their hands.
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A 180-seater single aisle aircraft, like Boeing 737 or Airbus A320, in all economy configuration has six seats across 30 rows. Keeping the middle row vacant will mean four passengers in a row and a maximum of 120 passengers in the aircraft.
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About not flying people stamped with “home quarantined”, airlines have been told: “All international flights stopped on Sunday (March 22). The home quarantined passengers were permitted till now to travel on connecting flights to reach their final destination within India. They should’ve already proceeded on the connecting flights by now. With the stoppage of all international services 24 hours back, there is no rationale in carrying these passengers anymore. Please do not accept any passengers with home quarantine stamps anymore. Any specific cases henceforth will have to be cleared by APHOs (Airport Health Organisation) positively and discussed with regional medical officers.”
The social distancing steps airlines need to take now on include: “Seat allocation at the time of check-in to be done to in a manner to ensure that the seat between two passengers is kept empty. Ensure adequate spacing at check-in counters between passengers (minimum one metre) and also between each individual counters. Ensure availability of adequate staff for guiding the passengers at check-in counters and during security checks.”
“Passengers to be advised to sit at adequate distance in waiting area, keeping one seat vacant. 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. Provide sanitisers for staff and passengers at the entry of the aircraft. Cabin Crew to maintain adequate distance while serving the passengers.,” it says while asking airlines to take any other step for social distancing.
Airports have been asked to ensure adequate check-in and security check counters to avoid congestion.
Here’s the DGCA circular:

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