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IAF won't allow COVID-19 suspects to board aircraft during evacuation from abroad, pilots told to remain in cockpit

Having already airlifted 170 Indian and other nationality passengers from China and Iran, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has issued instructions to its air-crew that people with symptoms of COVID-19 would not be allowed to board their aircraft.

In an advisory issued by the IAF, the service has issued detailed instructions to its air-crew as per which the pilots have been told to remain in their cockpits in case of evacuations from outside the country.

As per the standard operating procedures (SOP) for air travel by Air Force aircraft, " During embarkation, thermal scanning will be done and any symptomatic person will not be allowed to board the flight."


"All passengers will be asked to disinfect their hands thoroughly with sanitisers before entering the aircraft," it said.

The Air Force has so far airlifted 170 passengers from Wuhan in China and Teheran in Iran.

For in-flight travel, the Air Force has said that Passengers will be briefed to avoid any unnecessary touch to other persons or aircraft surfaces.

" Pilots are advised not to come out of cockpit. All passengers to be briefed about cough etiquettes, social distancing and personal hygiene," the Air Force has clarified.

The Indian Air Force has also held a special Video conference on COVID-19 at Air Force Station Hindon, for awareness of aircrew of transport & helicopter fleet during the conduct of evacuation from outside the country.

For the post-flight measures, the Air Force advisory says that "No crew member and support staff should come in close contact with passengers. Persons on the ground should refrain from any close interaction with the incoming team."

" All waste items left over by passengers should be tightly sealed in yellow bags carried on board and disposed of by biohazard vehicle," the instructions said.

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