Ever since the ministry of civil aviation of India announced the resumption of domestic flights, there has been a series of lingering inquiries, was it the right call? Was it necessary? Will it make the pandemic situation better or worse? Is it safe to travel on a plane?
Before we could even attempt to answer this question, there are a lot of factors that need to be paid attention to.
Amongst other things, Airports are following a strict policy of minimizing any form of human contact. Social distancing norms and the need to minimize contact has fueled the ever-existing forms of technology which is being widely adopted to provide a safe seamless customer experience.
· Only web check-in allowed
· Scan your own boarding pass
· Use of thermal imaging guns, goggles and helmets
Even before the pandemic crisis, every air traveller was subjected to a set of rigid protocols, to maintain security and safety of all passengers. This resolve was just deepened in the present situation where a set of very intricate protocols had been developed to continue the fight COVID-19.
Then there are the myths:
“We are trapped in a metal box, breathing the same air”
False. According to reports, the air inside an aircraft is much cleaner than most hospitals.
The hygiene levels inside the cabin are state of the art by using multiple highly efficient filtration and airflow systems.
There is no side to side or front to back circulation of air, only downward was, thus reducing the risk of cross-contamination substantially.
The CEO of Indigo Airlines, Ronojoy Dutta shared with the public about the High-efficiency Particle Filters (HEPA) installed in aircraft making sure that the virus isn’t re-circulated in the cabin.
And that’s not all…
Spicejet, for instance, is disinfecting all touchpoints to minimize any risk of transfer of germs. All crew members are undergoing extensive and regular check-ups apart from wearing protective gear at all times. The airline has even installed all synthetic leather seats which are easy to wipe off clean and lack of pores eliminate the virus penetrating inside.
Airports are taking measures like sanitizing tunnels for luggage trolleys, promoting cashless transactions at restaurants and retail stores, floor markings to ensure and promote social distancing etc.
At the end of the day…
After all the precautions and protocols, it is certain that not all factors can be accounted for or controlled in the world. Airports are a hub of huge footfall and the burden of maintaining the safety and security of citizens lie not only on the airlines, airports and the aviation ministry but just as much on every single passenger. We bear the same level of responsibility to follow and adhere to all rules and guidelines along with taking some extra precautions on our own to play our part in this battle.
Air- travel does not eliminate the risk of contamination 100%, but due to its strict observance of rules and measures, it is the safest way to travel right now.