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Hyderabad Airport gears up for lockdown exit with new safety features

Hyderabad Airport has made social distancing markers at several points including terminal entry points, check-in counters

Tuesday May 5, 2020 6:31 PM, IANS

Hyderabad Airport Lockdown Exit Plan

Hyderabad: Contactless terminal entry system, automated thermal cameras for screening body temperature, acrylic glass shields on counters, 'hygiene stations' with automatic hand sanitisers, social distancing markers across the terminal and frequent sanitisation of the premises and the equipment.

These will be some of the key features of Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport when it reopens for commercial operations after the ongoing lockdown.

Covid-19 Exit Plan

The airport has prepared an elaborate Covid-19 exit plan with operational preparedness to be implemented once the operations resume after the government's approval.

Shut since March 22, the airport implemented various initiatives during the lockdown period to be operationally prepared once the lockdown is lifted and the airport is allowed to resume flight operations.

The airport sources said they have put in place a contactless terminal entry system to avoid any possible contact between the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel and the passengers. There will be temperature screening by CISF with automated thermal cameras at all terminal entry points.

The airport has made social distancing markers at several points including terminal entry points, check-in counters, security screening, and boarding gates.

The authorities will encourage use of self check-in and Self Bag Drop (SBD) machines to minimize any possibility of contact and reduce waiting time in queues. There will be counter allocation to ensure strict adherence to social distancing guidelines. Acrylic glass shields have been installed on check in counters to separate the airport personnel and the passenger.

'Hygiene Stations'

To enable frequent sanitisation of hands by passengers, 'hygiene stations' are being set up with automatic hand sanitisers. There will be frequent sanitiation and disinfection of the queue managers, acrylic glass shields, Common Use Self Service (CUSS) machines and SBD machines.

Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) suits will be provided to the security personnel involved in the passenger screening. There will be frequent sanitisation and disinfection of the trays, Door Frame Metal Detector (DFMD), Hand Held Metal Detectors (HHMDs) and the monitors.

Marking the seats which are not to be used to ensure social distancing, frequent fumigation and disinfection of the seats, aerobridges and boarding gates after every departure, implementation of social distancing markers at the boarding gates will be the other operational features post lockdown. In case of remote bays, the number of passengers being boarded onto the buses will be restricted.

Thermal screening of all passengers

Thermal screening to be done on all the arriving passengers using non-contact temperature screeners and thermal screening cameras. Self-declaration forms with records of the passengers' travel history, health status and the contact details will be captured. There will be provision of dedicated areas for the passengers to fill in the self-declaration forms.

Dedicated waiting room has been provided for the Airport Health Organisation (APHO) personnel if a passenger is found symptomatic and further screening is required. There will be designated areas of bus entry, baggage reclaim and thermal screening areas for arrivals from countries with community transmission.

The airport is geared up with high levels of hygiene and new operational procedures, said S.G.K. Kishore, Chief Executive Officer, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), which operates the airport.

He said passengers' role in keeping the airport safe would also be equally important and requested passengers to extend their cooperation and support for measures such as usage of face masks, thermal screening and social distancing.

"In line with our motto of 'passenger is prime', the entire Hyderabad Airport family including all our stakeholders is working through the lockdown period to ensure that we have the right measures in place for ensuring passenger safety once the commercial flight operations are permitted to resume by the government," he said.

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