CAAB provides guideline for flight operations

Protection gears, social distancing mandatory onboard

- A Monitor Desk Report 11 May, 2020 | 778 Views|-+
Dhaka: The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has developed and circulated a guideline to all air operators, taking recommendations from WHO and IATA into account, in order to support industry stakeholders in preventing spread of coronavirus on commercial aircraft.

The purpose of the directive is to provide necessary guidelines for air operators in the country to ensure an acceptable level of safety is maintained at all times by following infection prevention and control measures through cleaning and disinfection programmes as well as social distancing.

Guidelines for check-in

In the guidelines, CAAB states that passengers shall be queued with standard distancing gap at the check-in counter. Moreover, all staff at check-in counter shall wear standard masks, gloves and disposable caps while attending passengers. Airlines will have to provide adequate alcohol-based hand sanitisers, masks, gloves and tissues for the ground staff for personal use. Passengers shall be allowed to carry small hand sanitiser bottle (max 100 ml) in their carry-on baggage. Hand sanitisers, masks and gloves (optional) shall be provided to each pax along with necessary briefing during check-in.

Body temperature of each passenger by non-contact infrared thermometer shall be carried out and check-in shall be denied if temperature above 99 degree Fahrenheit is observed.

Also, all passengers are to sign a declaration form, for airlines to know about the passenger's health condition, before check-in. If the response to the questions regarding having fever and cough, or fever and breathing difficulty, or being refused boarding in the past 14 days due to medical reason related to COVID-19 is yes then a denial of check-in must be applied. The airlines are to keep the record for at least 14 days.

Suspected passengers are to be assisted carefully by concern security and airport health authority to the pre-selected quarantine area demarcated by the airport authority.

Guidelines for onboard safety

In the directive, CAAB further said that allocation of seats in the aircraft shall be done keeping in mind the segregation process (min 25pc seat vacant) so that social distance is maintained. "Always keep at least one seat gap if the passengers are not from the same family and last or first one row of the seat vacant for any suspected passenger," the directive added.

During pre-boarding or boarding time, max 2 rows from the back shall be passengers shall be called and allowed to board at a time instead of bulk boarding.

Operators shall ensure that passengers are sitting at least 1 meter apart from one another in the passenger carrying bus. Cross-tape may be used on the seat of the bus to ensure adequate separation between passengers. The bus shall be disinfected each time after carrying passengers to the aircraft.

At least two PPEs and two universal precaution kit (UPK) shall be carried all the time in the aircraft for suspected passengers or for the use of crew members to protect them who are assisting potentially infectious cases of COVID-19.

For long haul (over four hours) flights, in-flight measurement of body temperature during operation should be taken at least after every 2-3 hours. In case of ill passengers being found with symptoms including fever equal to or over 99 degree Fahrenheit, fatigue or cough, the occurrence should be dealt with in compliance with the handling measures of in-flight emergencies and the crew should timely communicate with destination airports, and then hand over the ill passengers after landing in cooperation with local health authorities.

The flight crew of an aircraft shall, upon identifying a suspected case of communicable disease, or other public health risk, on board the aircraft, promptly notify the ATS unit with which the pilot is communicating.

Besides these, CAAB further provided guidelines for layover, routine cleaning and preventative disinfection of aircraft, crew member's quarantine management and infection control related to aircraft, among others, in the directive.

All operators are to prepare their own guidance and procedure manual in reference to this directive and get approval of CAAB.

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