DGCA says airports may levy spot fines if face mask, social distancing norms flouted

DGCA says airports may levy spot fines if face mask, social distancing norms flouted

It had allowed airlines to provide concessions on fares to flyers travelling with no check-in baggage.

As coronavirus cases see a sudden spike in the country, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday directed security agencies to increase the surveillance, requesting all airport operators to ensure that the instructions on Covid-19 protocols such as wearing masks properly, covering nose and mouth, as well as maintaining social distance norms within the airport premises are followed rigorously.

According to the latest civil aviation regulator's guidelines, airport operators are likely to raise the surveillance level. Plus, the possibility of spot fines as per the law shall also be explored with the local police so as to serve as a deterrent for violations of Covid-19 norms.

"During the surveillance of some airports, it has come to notice that compliance (of COVID-19 protocols) is not satisfactory," the civil aviation regulator said in a circular on Tuesday.

DGCA says airports may levy spot fines if face mask, social distancing norms flouted
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Earlier this month, the aviation regulator had asked airlines and airport operators to ensure passengers wear masks properly, covering their nose and mouth, and follow other Covid protocol. It also asked security agencies to deny airport entry to travellers who were not wearing masks, emphasising that “unruly” passengers can be barred from flying for a period from three months to two years.

“In case, any passenger is not following Covid-19 protocol (hat includes not wearing masks properly or not following social distancing norms), they should be handed over to security agencies after proper warnings. If required, they may be dealt as per law,” the DGCA had mentioned in its March 13 guidelines.

It had allowed airlines to provide concessions on fares to flyers travelling with no check-in baggage.

On March 21, the aviation regulator had asked the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and other police personnel deployed at the entrance of the airport to prevent travellers who try to enter the airport without a face mask.

Several reports mentioned that last week 15 flyers, who were found breaching Covid-19 protocols on domestic flights of three airlines this month, likely to be banned for three months by the airlines.

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