13 daily flights to resume operations at Srinagar Airport from Monday

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As passenger air traffic is set to resume operations from Monday after two month hiatus owing to Covid-19, as many as 13 flights will be operating from the Srinagar International Airport.

As per the flight schedule released today by the Director General of Civil Aviation, 13 out of 32 routine flights at Srinagar Airport will be operating for next one month.

The summer schedule will be effective between May 25 to June 30.  The aviation regulator has also slotted 4-5 alternate day flights of various airlines for Srinagar.

As per the schedule, first daily flight is scheduled to arrive at Srinagar Airport at 7:25 am while as the last flight will be arriving here at 2:40 pm.

Speaking with Greater Kashmir, Director, Airports Authority of India (AAI) Srinagar, Santosh Dhoke said the new flight schedule has witnessed a drop in number of flights by almost 60 per cent owing to Covid-19. “This schedule has limited number of flights. We used to operate almost 32 daily flights in the summer schedule last year. This has now dropped to 13 flights,” said Dhoke.

Dhoke said all six airlines— Vistara, GoAir, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Air Asia and Indian Airlines— which have been operating on this region have been approved by DGCA to resume flight operations from Monday.

Dhoke said the number of flights was expected to be increased after June 30. “For the first phase, only limited number of flights is allowed but we hope more flights will be allowed as soon as the situation around Covid-19 improves,” said Dhoke.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation allowed commercial domestic flight operations to resume across the country from May 25. Dhoke said they have made arrangements to ensure the “contactless movement” of passengers and the staff members.

“All the required arrangements have been made. The markings on seating arrangement and queuing system to ensure social distancing has also been completed,” Dhoke said.

He said the Standard Operating Procedures by Airport Authority of India and Ministry of Home Affairs “will be followed in letter and spirit.”

“At Gate No 1, a spray tunnel has been installed by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation. Besides social distancing will be followed as per the MHA and Ministry for Civil Aviation guidelines,” Dhoke said.

Director Srinagar Airport said they have installed Fibre-reinforced polymer and acrylic sheet to avoid contact of passengers with each other at the check-in counters.

Dhoke said the verification of identity proofs will be done through webcams. He said the Standard Operating Procedures laid down by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will also be followed when the air traffic resumes. “It is important for every traveller to have the contact tracing Aarogya Setu app installed on his mobile phone. In addition, he/she would need to answer the questioner on the app. Those with no Covid-19 symptoms with a ‘Green’ status on the app will only be allowed to travel. Those with a ‘Red’ status on the app will not be allowed to travel,” Dhoke said.

Nodal Officers deployed at Srinagar, Jammu airports

General Administration Department today deployed three officers to Srinagar and Jammu airports in view of resumption of passenger air traffic in the country from May 25.

As per the order, the GAD has deployed Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, Dheeraj Gupta as Nodal Officer for arrangement of passengers arriving at Srinagar Airport including their testing and quarantine. Secretary, Culture Department, Zubair Ahmed will assist him.

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, has been deployed as Nodal Officer for arrangement of returning passengers at Jammu Airport including their testing and quarantine.