Commercial Domestic Passenger flight operations have resumed after a long time due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic crisis throughout the world. Initially, flights will be operated in three routes: Dhaka to Chattogram, Dhaka to Sylhet, and Dhaka to Saidpur. Based on the experience of these three routes, flights to other domestic destinations will commence.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Novoair and US-Bangla Airlines will operate several flights, initially maintaining health standards and regulations as issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh(CAAB)
CAAB, the regulatory authority of civil flights in Bangladesh, issued a circular on 28th May regarding the resumption of commercial scheduled domestic passenger flight operations.
According to the circular, signed by Group Captain Chy M Zia Ul Kabir, Member, Flight Standard and Regulations, CAAB notified all Bangladeshi Air Operators that scheduled commercial, domestic passenger flight operations will resume on a limited scale from 0600 BST on 1st June 2020.
The circular also included that considering the persistent risk and to avoid further expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the country, until 2359 BST on 15th June 2020, all Helicopter and General Aviation Air Operators of Bangladesh have been advised to limit their flights to corporate, medevac, humanitarian or relief flights only. In addition, during any operation, standard disinfection, hygiene and sanitisation procedure for passengers, crew, equipment and aircraft (Inflight or on the ground) shall be maintained and followed.
Guidelines for Airport Authority
- Airports shall ensure adequate entry or exit gates with disinfection arrangements, i.e., foot mats and disinfection tunnels, to avoid conditions of passengers. No visitors are to be allowed in the terminal building.
- Airports shall provide hand-washing facilities for the travelling passengers and stuff with liquid soap and water with foot-operated waste bin near the entrance gates of the terminal building.
- Passengers and Civil Aviation staff centre terminal building with face masks and walkthrough disinfection management for sterilisation of dress or soles.
- Airport shops in all entry gates of Ford shall be equipped with calibrated non-contact infrared thermometers to check the fever of all agency stops and passengers. The febrile person shall be immediately isolated and handed over to the respective airport health authority.
- All the airport steps shell where appropriate masks while working in and around the airport. The staff handling a febrile person shall wear disposable medical caps, surgical masks, gloves, disposable shoe covers, goggles and disposable protective suits (PPE).
- To reduce cross-contamination, all staff shall wear or remove PPE in a designated place. Removed PPE should be placed in medical Waste bags as infectious waste. Airport and other teams working in the airport shall be sent for quarantine once they have suspicious symptoms;
- passengers are advised to sit at an adequate distance (at least one metre) while waiting in the passenger’s waiting lounge. Taped crosses should be used for marking row seats on which passengers will not be allowed to sit;
- Repeated public address announcements to be carried out on preventive safety measures against the spread of COVID-19, emphasising more on the use of mass, sanitising and social distancing.
- Minimum numbers of shops, banks, money exchanges and food stalls to be kept open with strict daily inspection by the sanitary inspectors of the airport health department;
- The key areas of the airport (security screening area, check counters, baggage inspection desk, immigration counters, public and staff toilets etc.) shall be cleaned and disinfected at least thrice a day. Cargo sheds and parking areas shall be cleaned and disinfected at least once a day;
11. All the rails, door handles, tables, chairs etc. to be disinfected with disinfectant frequently by dedicated personnel;
12. Alcohol-based hand rub shall be available on all the security inspection channels and draw of toilet areas;
13. Adequate amount of hand washing soap to be supplied in the washroom and toilets stop foot-operated waste bin with lead to be provided in the toilets and washroom. Waste shall be disposed of in the WHO-recommended foot operated with twins with poly bags inside. At regular intervals, oil waste bins should be cleaned and disinfected to keep them in a sanitary condition and publicise the disinfection status in a prominent place and keep a record of disinfection;
14. Terminal area shall be disinfected as a public area. However, in case of any suspected patients, confirmed patients, or oral passengers, terminal disinfection shall be performed by disinfecting the site using the prescribed vaporisation disinfection device;
15. All the disposable used items shall be disposed of in a foot-operated waste bin with lids for final disposal in poly bags. The poly bags are not to be opened inside the airport area. The garbage contractor is to be instructed accordingly;
16. Airports shell arranged a dedicated room with all protective measures and medical representatives for quarantine and suspected passengers;
17. All airport shells ensure that all the air operators are following the CAAB guidelines on preventing COVID-19 while handling the passengers and disinfecting the aircraft;