KATHMANDU, June 6: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has directed passengers and airline staff with measured temperature of 38 degree Celsius (100.4 degree Fahrenheit) or higher to be isolated and treated in accordance with the policy adopted by the airport authority.
CAAN on Thursday released guidance for airlines, airports and ground services for operations during COVID-19. As the government recently decided to bring back its citizens from abroad in different special charter flights, the Tribhuvan International Airport as a sole gateway is preparing to operate the flights in a systematic and safe way.
According to the guidance, passengers will not be accepted for flight if the mandatory body temperature screening results in 38 degree Celsius or higher. Passengers with COVID-19 suggestive symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath and loss of taste or smell will not be accepted for flights. Similarly, it is mandatory for passengers and all personnel working at the airport to wear medical face masks while on the airport premises and inside the aircraft. Passengers need to bring their own personal belongings like pens and sanitizing towels.
CAAN has encouraged the practice of paperless check-in and boarding with mobile application should be encouraged among air operators in order to ensure physical distancing. The temperature screening of each passenger, crew member, staff and stakeholders with calibrated non-contact thermometers has been made mandatory at all entry points. “In order to ensure its effectiveness, a common screening desk for passengers and a separate such desk for staff and other stakeholders shall be established,” the guidance reads.
According to CAAN, the guidance has been prepared to serve as an aviation health safety guidance and to provide a source of best practices on how airports, airline operators should conduct commercial and non-commercial transport. “The guidance is a ‘how to’ for all the stakeholders engaged in air services along with the passengers,” said Rajan Pokharel, director general at CAAN, “The precautionary measures have been arranged for public health safety.”
CAAN has asked airline operators and airport operators to display illustrative pamphlets, flex, displays in the prominent areas of the airport to inform the passengers about COVID-19 related dos and don’ts at the airport starting from entry to exit points.
The air travelers should complete a COVID-19 self declaration form to the air operator before boarding the plane. Similarly, international passengers are required to complete Passengers Locator Card (PLC) and submit at the health office or desk on their arrival at the airport while for domestic flights, PLC form should be collected by concerned air operators and should be handed over to the health desk at arrival, if available.
For individual air operators, the guideline directs them to prepare their Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) considering elements in this guidance as minimum for the purpose of resumption of flight during COVID-19 pandemic.
Also air operators and airport operators are responsible for timely dissemination of relevant information to air travelers. CAAN has allowed limited flights to some specific sectors based on safety assessment to operate whereas it plans to gradually increase flight schedules based on evaluation of the situation.