India Protocols For Charter Operations
Photo by Martin Jernberg
Photo by Martin Jernberg


India Protocols for Charter Operations

UAS Operations | - 06/02/2020
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Aviation, Featured, Planning and Operating

India Protocols for Charter Operations: India has set out its Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for private aircraft and charter operations on international sectors to repatriate Indian nationals stranded abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s all you need to know.

The first steps

  • Indians wishing to return home must register with the Indian Mission in the country where they are stranded
  • They should be prepared to bear the cost of travel if their company does not
  • Passengers must give their consent to follow any COVID-l9 related protocols and guidelines issued by the Government of India
  • Expect to be denied boarding if presenting with symptoms at thermal screening
  • Passengers must complete the self-declaration form in the format prescribed by the Ministry of Health

Flight Clearance

  • Operators must submit the flight details at least 4 days in advance to the Indian Mission with a complete list of passengers along with their personal details
  • The operator must obtain a NOC for the flight from the state government of the destination airport, either directly or through MEA, or through the Indian Mission in the country from which the passengers are being evacuated
  • After receiving the NOC/recommendation, slot clearance from the concerned airport, the operator will apply to DGCA for flight clearance
  • Ground handling agencies engaged by the operators or state must ensure staff are fully briefed and regularly updated as per existing orders on COVID-I9 related protocols for India
  • Operators must also provide the passenger manifest for each flight in the format prescribed by the Indian authorities

Crew protocols

Cabin crew must wear PPE including medical protective masks, rubber gloves, goggles or a face shield, disposable medical caps, and protective clothing. Flight crew must also wear surgical masks and goggles in the cockpit and crew rest area. Crew must:

  • Clean and disinfect hands frequently
  • Wear their masks close to their face, covering the nose and mouth completely
  • Don’t touch the outer layer of the mask when it’s being removed to avoid hand contamination
  • Replace face masks immediately once it becomes damp
  • After use, all PPE should be placed in a yellow medical waste bag
  • Waste bags should be sprayed or sprinkled with disinfectant and packed in a tightly knotted plastic bag for centralized disposal as medical wastes
  • Clean hands after disposing of masks or rubbish
  • Use alcohol-based disinfection wipes or non-alcohol rinse-free hand sanitizer to clean and disinfect hands
  • Avoid touching their noses, mouths, and eyes with their hands
  • Practice good couching etiquette
  • Avoid close contact during break times and reduce the need to enter the cockpit by using the intercom system for communication
  • Provide service in designated area only to avoid close contact with passengers and only provide the necessary in-flight service
  • Lavatories should be sanitized once every hour or after being used 5 times

Boarding protocols

  • All possible measures to ensure social distancing must be taken
  • Each passenger should receive a safety kit containing at least 2 three-layer surgical masks, face shield, and hand sanitizer
  • Crew and boarding staff must ensure each passenger’s hands are sanitized and they are wearing fresh masks and face shields before boarding
  • Passengers must be seated sequentially from rear to front, with passengers on window seats to be seated first to prevent any crowding or crossing over aisles
  • Passengers must be repeatedly reminded of the precautionary measures to ensure safety, including the use of hand sanitizer, the continuous wearing of masks and face shields, minimum use of lavatories, restricted movement during the flight, and sanitizing hands before taking meals and after use of lavatories
  • Passengers will not be allowed newspapers, magazines or other non-essential loose items on board and in-flight entertainment will be switched off to minimize the touching of aircraft surfaces
  • If a bus is used for boarding, operators must ensure social distancing and hygiene measures are adhered to

Catering protocols

  • Minimal catering is allowed, and no drinks service will be available
  • Water bottles and pre-packaged food must be placed on seats before boarding
  • Additional water bottles would be available in the galley area on a self-service basis

Medical emergency protocols

  • If a passenger becomes ill or shows COVID-I9 symptoms like fatigue, a cough, high fever, etc.:
  • This passenger should be isolated immediately and a dedicated crew member in protective gear should be assigned to handle this case
  • A specific area of the aircraft should be reserved as a quarantine area for handling possible in-flight emergencies
  • Adequate quantity of PPE must be ensured in preparation for a possibility of more than one case

Arrival protocols

  • Disembarkation must be staggered to ensure social distancing
  • Passengers and crew members will be subject to the COVID-I9 protocols issued by the Government of India
  • The aircraft will be disinfected and suitable precautionary measures such as environmental sanitation and disinfection shall be ensured

For support with your flight operations to India, contact UAS