Govt allows private jets, chartered flights to operate on domestic routes
The civil aviation ministry issued guidelines for non-schedule operator permit (NSOP), stating that passengers should report at the airport, heliport or helipad at least 45 minutes before the departure time.Updated: May 25, 2020 23:56 IST
Private jets and chartered flights will be allowed to operate on domestic routes, the civil aviation ministry said in an order issued on Monday. As per the order, domestic air services by non- scheduled and private operators including Fixed Wing, Helicopters and Micro light aircraft shall resume with effect from May 25.
The order comes on the day domestic flights operations resumed in the country after a two-month-long suspension due to lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
The civil aviation ministry issued guidelines for non-schedule operator permit (NSOP) stating that passengers should report at the airport, heliport or helipad at least 45 minutes before the departure time.
“Vulnerable persons, such as very elderly, pregnant ladies, passengers with health issues are advised to avoid air travel. However, this will not apply to air ambulance services,” it said.
The guidelines said if a passenger has manually booked his or her ticket for a chartered helicopter flight, the boarding pass will be issued at helipad or heliport with minimum contact and after following all sanitization protocols prescribed by local administration.
The guidelines also said the price cap on tickets, issued by the Director General of Civil Aviation last week for scheduled domestic passenger flights, will not be applicable on chartered flights.
“The charges of air travel (on chartered flights) to be as per mutually agreed terms between operators and the travellers,” the ministry said.
Apart from these, most of the guidelines issued by the aviation ministry are similar to the ones issued for passengers of operators of domestic commercial passenger flights.
Passengers will also have to download the Arogya Setu app and wear a face mask.
“The status of ‘Aarogya Setu’ should be displayed to the staff. In case of non-availability of Aarogya Setu, the passenger should be facilitated to go to a counter provided by the airport where the app can be downloaded. Children below fourteen years of age would be exempt from this requirement,” the order said.
More than 39.000 passengers boarded domestic flights on Monday after the resumption of domestic air travel, according to officials aware of the development. 523 flights took off while nearly 50% were cancelled due to restrictions imposed by a few states.