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    Keep adjacent seat vacant for passengers: DGCA to airlines and airports

    Keep adjacent seat vacant for passengers: DGCA to airlines and airports

    Keep adjacent seat vacant for passengers: DGCA to airlines and airports
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    By Anu Sharma   IST (Updated)

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    The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has asked airlines and airports to ensure that the adjacent seat to a passenger is always vacant in aircraft and airports.

    The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has asked airlines and airports to ensure that the adjacent seat to a passenger is always vacant in aircraft and airports.
    The latest advisory is part of the government's steps to maintain social distancing at airports and planes to prevent the transmission of coronavirus. Currently, air transport is the primary medium for movement of people across states as all passenger train services, inter-state buses, metro rail services are suspended till March 31.
    The move will reduce airlines' carrying capacity by 33 percent, as two seats out of six in every row will have to kept vacant.
    The regulator has asked airlines to ensure a minimum distance of one-meter between passengers at check-in counters, waiting area, and boarding lines.
    "Seat allocation at the time of check-in to be done in a manner to ensure that the seat between two passengers is kept empty," the directive to airlines said.
    Passengers and staff are also to be provided sanitizer at the entry of the aircraft and cabin crew should also maintain adequate distance while serving the passengers.
    Airports have also been advised to ensure that there are adequate security check counters and check-in counters to avoid congestion and adequate staff should be available in these areas as well.
    "Provide sanitizers at all prominent locations and carry out repeated public address announcements to sensitize passengers and airport staff," DGCA 30has advised airports.
    Airlines and airports can also take any other measure, as deemed appropriate, to ensure social distancing.
    India is closed for International passenger traffic till March 29, but the DGCA has clarified that domestic and foreign cargo operations can continue as usual at all the airports.
    As of now, domestic flights are operating as per schedule at all Indian airports, but airlines have cut back on flights due to a drop in demand.
    The deadly virus, having originated in Wuhan of China, has resulted in seven deaths and a total of 415 positive cases in India as of 10 am of March 23.
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