Should Airline and Health officials learn from Pakistan

Yesterday Authorities in Pakistan issued new regulations to assure the safe operation of their aviation sector.

1.Every aircraft will be disinfected in accordance with the procedures prescribed by PCAA at each station before passenger hoarding. The disinfection certificate from the airline/operator shall be countersigned and verified by the CAA Staff. The disinfection is to be logged in aircraft documents. The Captain of the aircraft shall satisfy himself regarding full compliance of PCAA instructions on disinfection. A similar disinfection standard shall also be mandatory prior to embarkation from a foreign airport for flight to Pakistan.

2. An inventory of essential PPE, comprising protection suits, gloves, surgica1 masks, goggles, and N-95 masks, etc. shall be maintained in each aircraft

3. The International Passenger Health Declaration form will be disseminated to all potential travelers to Pakistan before boarding the flight.

4. Completion of International Passenger Health Declaration Foan by passengers/ guardians (in case of infants/ disabled) shall be the operator’s responsibility. The Form will be filled and signed before boarding the flight.

5. The airline through its station manager/ or the GHA where applicable shall be responsible for providing the passenger manifest to the destination airport in Pakistan, before the take-off of the flight. The Airport Manager at the destination airport shall transfer this passenger manifest to the concerned! PCT/ provincial government focal person on an immediate basis.

6. Passengers are to be scanned through thermal devices for COVID-19 before boarding. Either a thermal scanner or a calibrated non-contact thermal device shall be used for the purpose. Any passenger or crew member with raised body temperature shall be examined by a Health professional at the airport of embarkation.

7. Boarding passes shall be issued with a gap of at least one adjacent seat. The off duty crew will be accommodated on seats in such a way that the aforementioned gap of at least one seat will be maintained. It shall be mandatory to keep the aft three rows vacant, and shall be used only in case of medical emergencies.

8. Passengers are to comply with the following instructions during air travel to Pakistan. These are in addition to any other instructions which are otherwise mandated for safe air travel, or as issued by the Cabin Crew from time to time during the flight:

a. All passengers are required to wear surgical masks throughout the duration of the flight. The masks shall be provided by the airline at the check-in counter of the airport the passengers do not have their own.

b. Passengers are to occupy only the seats allocated to them and not change the seats in any case. They are also not allowed to congregate in the aircraft during the course of air travel

c. The inflight temperature of each passenger shall be checked after an interval of 90 minutes. A calibrated non-contact thermal device shall be used for the purpose.

d. Any passenger having symptoms or feelings of COVID-19, including but not limited to shortness of breath, coughing, high fever, and sore throat, must immediately inform the cabin crew.

9. All cockpit and cabin crew will wear appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) dress and surgical masks throughout the duration of flight without compromising on safety.

10. Cabin crew will provide hand sanitizer every hour during the flight to each passenger except during the food/ beverage service

11. Food and beverage is strongly discouraged for flights of less than 150 minutes duration.

12. Three Aft rows shall be kept vacant for the passengers and crew displaying symptoms of illness.

13. The passengers and crew members displaying symptoms of illness will be isolated towards the aft of the aircraft and kept there till the termination of the flight. Such persons will remain at this seat in the aircraft till such time the health crew is called in by the cabin crew for medical evacuation.

14. After the completion of boarding, the Senior Purser/ Lead Cabin Crew will take a picture of each aircraft zone displaying passengers seated while wearing masks. The photograph of Passenger Seating, taken by the Senior Purser/ Lead Cabin Crew after boarding, will be submitted to the concerned Health staff at the airport off disembarkation Staff electronically/ through Whatsapp. The airline will maintain copies of these images in its record.

15. Cabin Crew will spray disinfectant in the lavatory after every 60 minutes of flight.

16. Before landing, the Captain of the aircraft will confirm to the concerned Air Traffic Controller that International Passenger Health Declaration Form has been filled by all. The completed form will be checked at the entrance to the boarding bridge at the airport by the PCAA/ ASF Staff. The Captain of the aircraft has to confirm to the A TC that all passengers on board have filled the Fonn; otherwise, no one shall be allowed to disembark 1he aircraft.

17. The cabin crew shall use alcohol-based disinfection wipes to clean and disinfect their hands. After touching or disposing of wastes, hands should be cleaned with hand sanitizer or soap. 18. Upon contacting ill passengers (having symptoms of COVID-19), cabin attendants must ensure the use of N95 masks. gloves and protective goggles in addition to their Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) suits.

19. Disembarkation will be done row-wise in an orderly manner from front to back ensuring social distance.

20. Seat Map will be provided by the airline staff along with a copy of the passenger manifest to the PCAA and Health staff, and the receipt will be obtained from the receiving party along with name and designation.

21. All passenger luggage and cargo shall be disinfected by the airline soon after unloading from the aircraft. The airline shall be responsible for the provision of appropriate masks and gloves to the staff involved with handling the checked baggage and cargo.

22. Passengers shall not be allowed to pick up their luggage from the baggage carousel themselves. Instead, the respective airline/ GHA staff shall pick up the luggage from the bell and place it in such a way that each piece is at a safe distance from the other. The passengers shall wait behind barriers placed in such a way that social distance is maintained. Groups of passengers, no more than IO each, shall be allowed to pick up their luggage at one time.  The airline/ GHA staff deputed for handling luggage shall wear protective masks and gloves.

23. All passengers and flight crew, including chartered aircraft, shall arrive via the passenger terminal building.  Upon arrival, all passengers will be guided to the arrival lounge by PCAA staff.

24. The Passenger Health Declaration form will be collected from each passenger by Health staff in the arrival lounge.

25. Upon arrival in the arrival lounge, the passengers and flight crew shall be subjected to thermal scanning.

26. All passengers and crew to be tested for Covid-19 as soon as possible after landing in Pakistan. Passengers will be transported to the quarantine facility upon arrival. inbound passengers will be allowed a preference between two modes of quarantine, free of cost government quarantine centers or paid government-regulated botels/ Testing will be conducted after arrival at the quarantine facility.

a. Passengers with negative Covid-19 results will be allowed to leave with guidelines on home isolation for completion of the 14-day period. b. Passengers with positive Covid-19 results will be resolved as follows:

1. Symptomatic patients to be treated as per prescribed health protocols.

27. Asymptomatic patients from other provinces to be treated as per prescribed health protocols and to be kept in isolation/ quarantine facilities until completion of 14 days. Positive cases not to be returned to the home province until completion of the quarantine period.
iii Asymptomatic patients from the host province to have home quarantine capability reviewed. If the provincial authorities deem home quarantine to be feasible. A patient may be sent home with guidelines on home isolation for 14 days. Otherwise, patients to be treated as per prescribed health protocols and to be kept in isolation/ quarantine facilities until completion of 14 days.

28. Airline crew to be tested on a priority basis. Testing priority also to be applied to other specia1 cases; such as those accompanying dead bodies. No exemptions will be allowed on quarantine/ testing protocols other than providing testing priority in mandatory cases.
Airline crew for positioning or cargo fights returning from an origin where the crew did not leave the aircraft for any duration will be exempted from quarantine and testing protocols upon arrival to Pakistan.

29. The transportation to the quarantine location shall be arranged by the concerned authorities. No meet and greet shall be allowed at the airport.

30. Passengers will. be responsible for all expenses of their stay if they choose to stay in a hotel/ paid facility. Government quarantine centers will be free of cost. Passengers will not be able to switch facilities once their quarantine begins unless deemed necessary by the authorities. While the government will try its best to accommodate passengers according to their preferences, paid facilities are limited and cannot be guaranteed. The authorities on the ground will have the final say on where passengers are quarantined.

31. Data of all passengers and flight crew with their mobile numbers will be kept for record and further follow up.