Bangladesh to allow domestic flight operations soon

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Domestic flight services will begin after May 8 if COVID-19 situation remains steady.

The decision was made during a meeting between the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh and domestic flight operators in Dhaka on Wednesday.

One of the officials who attended the meeting at the CAAB headquarters told New Age that the CAAB was planning to allow flight operations if the virus situation did not worsen.

CAAB chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, however, said, ‘As sooner it is possible [to open] considering the situation of COVID-19. But, before Eid [ul Fitr]’.

This was the second meeting with the operators while a third meeting would be held soon with international fight operators to finalise the standard procedure to run flight operations.

Air commodore Md Khalid Hossain, the member operations and planning at the CAAB, said they were yet to finalise the date but discussing what could be the best practices so that once the flight starts, physical distancing could be maintained on ground and on board.

He said they would only allow family members to sit together or beside and maintaining this, the operators would

decide how many could fly at a time.

Khalid also said they would allow only two flights in 45 minutes so that no airport could be any gathering at a time.

CAAB officials also set some protocol for the airline operators, including mandatory supply of face masks to passengers.

They also discussed what would be the dress-code of the crew members. 

For international flight, the CAAB chair said any Bangladeshi must carry Covid19 negative certificate while check-in from any destination and in case anyone arrive without the certificate without it would be sent to mandatory institutional quarantine.

‘No foreigner will be allowed without certificate from their respective countries,’ said the CAAB chairman.  All airports would be restricted for any type of visitors.

The meeting was held just two days after the CAAB on Monday extended the suspension of all international and domestic flights but China till May 7 to contain coronavirus spread.