Operations are set to resume at Kempegowda International airport in Bengaluru on May 25, as domestic flights begin again.

The waiting area at Bengaluru Airport
news Aviation Saturday, May 23, 2020 - 18:40

As domestic air travel is set to resume from May 25, Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru will introduce ‘parking-to-boarding contactless journey’ to minimise physical contact in a bid to prevent COVID-19 transmission. This will work through increased sanitisation, thermal scanning of passengers, and providing personal protection equipment (PPE) to everyone before boarding the flight. In another major change, the terminals will now be well ventilated with minimum reliance on air conditioning.

Pre-entry measures

According to a press release, the pre-entry process will require everyone to wear a face mask and carry an electronic copy or printout of their boarding pass. Thermal screening will be done at the departure gates, and everyone will have to produce the ‘you are safe’ message on their Aarogya Setu app on their phone.

To minimise contact further, the boarding pass will be verified by CISF personnel and photo ID before entering the airport premises using an electronic device or magnified glass screen. This means that they would no longer be taking your mobile phone or physical print out to see the boarding pass.

Further, those attending to wheelchair users and unaccompanied minors will also be wearing PPE; and wheelchairs and trolleys and baby trolleys will be sanitised after every use.

Check-in procedure

A lot of things will likely become self-service, including scanning the boarding pass which was earlier done by an airline personnel.


Check-in kiosks at Bengaluru airport

The passenger will scan the boarding pass first at a contactless self-service kiosk, where passengers will also collect baggage tags. From here, people will go to the airline’s baggage drop counter. Here, a transparent partition will separate the staff and the passenger, who will have to stand at the markers on the floor put in line with physical distancing norms. “The passenger will scan the boarding pass on a sensor and show their ID and airline staff will accept the bags, ensuring at all times that the boarding pass does not touch the glass screen,” the press release says.

“Passengers also have the option of using the assisted baggage drop counter to print and tag their baggage. Initially, a maximum of one hand baggage and one checked-in baggage will be allowed, as mandated by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),” it adds.


Kiosks inside the airport

Security check

A major point of concern for many passengers would be the trays used to put their hand carries for scanning which come back to be used by others. To remedy this, the airport says it will sanitise the trays after each use. Further, the contactless procedure will also now have a body scan done by Door Frame Metal Detectors, in a departure from the handheld ones.

Importantly, the stamping of boarding passes has been suspended per DGCA orders.

People will also be provided hand sanitisers prior to and post the security check.

Boarding process

Each passenger will be given a kit containing a face mask, face shield and sanitiser. A passenger will have to use this new mask, sanitise hands, and discard the old mask in a bio-waste collection bin there before boarding.


Inside Bengaluru airport

Passengers will now scan the boarding pass themselves on the sensor and airline staff will do temperature screening before allowing one to board the flight.

Touch-free hand sanitisers have also been placed across the airport.

Retail, dining and parking

The release said it would almost ‘totally elimitate’ human contact at retail outlets in the stores in the airport. Digital shopping through pre-order and QR codes will also be introduced. “The food can be delivered at the passenger's place of choice within the Terminal. The payment would be made digitally at the time of ordering.”

“Seating across Terminal, including at F&B outlets, has been rearranged and marked in a manner that promotes maintaining a safe distance,” the release adds.


The food and beverage section of the airport

Arrivals

Passengers arriving at the airport will have to follow safe distance markers at baggage collection. Further, those in transit won’t be allowed out of the transit area now.

At the taxi pickup points, fumigation will be done regularly and taxis will be sanitised and drivers screened before every trip. Masks are manadatory for one to be allowed to board a taxi, and each will carry only two passengers. Bengaluru Metro Corporation Limited buses will also function at 50% capacity.

Hari Marar, MD and CEO of Bangalore International Airport Limited, said that the airport is working with various government departments to offer safety along with “best-in-class standards, procedures and practices” to travelers.

“We have introduced innovative  contactless procedures to minimise exposure at the Airport. These enhancements demonstrate our continued commitment to keep our passengers safe in this environment. We believe our new measures will boost confidence among passengers," Hari Marar said.