DGCA Issues New Covid-19 Protocols For Air Travel

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The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, India on Saturday issues a new set of Covid-19 protocols that strictly needs to be followed by all passengers traveling by air.

The DGCA in the circular said that passengers will be “de-boarded” from flights if they don’t wear masks properly inside the aircraft or don’t follow “Covid-19 appropriate behavior”.

Moreover, If any passenger violates protocol despite repeated warnings then the passenger will be treated as an ‘Unruly Passenger’.

The DGCA in the circular said, “It has been noticed that some travelers undertaking air journey do not adhere to ‘Covid-19 protocols’ which essentially involves wearing of masks properly that is not below the nose during all times of the journey from entering the Airport for departure to exiting the airport after arrival”.

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“It has also been noted that some passengers after entering the Airport do not wear masks properly and also do not maintain social distance while being in the airport premises. Similarly, some passengers have been noticed not wearing their masks properly while on-board the aircraft,”

The new circular comes after Delhi High Court, Justice C Hari Shankar witnessed that passengers not wearing masks properly during transportation from the airport to the flight and their stubborn reluctance to wear masks properly.

Here are the new guidelines issued by the DGCA for air travel:

1) Passengers shall wear masks and maintain social distancing norms at all times during air travel. The mask shall not be moved below the nose except under exceptional circumstances.

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2) CISF or other Police personnel deployed at the entrance of the Airport shall ensure that no one is allowed to enter the Airport without wearing a mask. CASO and other supervising officers must ensure this personally.

3) The Airport Director/Terminal Manager, as applicable, must ensure that passengers are wearing masks properly and do maintain social distance at all times within the Airport premises. In case, any passenger is not following the “COVID-19 Protocol”, they should be handed over to security agencies after proper warnings. If required, they may be dealt with as per law.

4) Onboard the Aircraft, in case any passenger does not adhere to wearing of mask properly even after repeated warnings, he/she should be de-boarded, if need be, before departure. In case, any passenger onboard an aircraft refuses to wear a mask or violates the “COVID-19 Protocol for passengers” even after repeated warnings, during the course of the flight, such passenger may be treated as “Unruly Passenger” as defined in para 3.1 of Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) Section 3 Series M Part VI (dated 8th September 2017) and the procedure in respect of handling such unruly passenger, as provided in above-mentioned CAR, shall be followed by the concerned Airline.


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