After marathon meeting with states, Civil Aviation Ministry negotiates plan to resume domestic flights
New Delhi/IBNS: The resumption of domestic flights seemed uncertain till Sunday morning after three states--Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra-- opposed the decision citing rising coronavirus cases in the country.
In order to resolve the concerns raised by the state governments, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri held a marathon meeting, which started in the morning and continued till late at night, said media reports.
“It has been a long day of hard negotiations with various state governments to recommence civil aviation operations in the country. Except Andhra Pradesh which will start on 26/5 and West Bengal on 28/5, domestic flights will recommence across the country from tomorrow. Starting tomorrow, there will be limited flights from Mumbai and as per approved â…“ schedule from other airports in the state. Limited operations to West Bengal will commence on 28th May 2020,” the Civil Aviation Minister tweeted.
“As per request of the state government, operations in Andhra Pradesh will recommence on a limited scale from May 26. For Tamil Nadu, there will be maximum 25 arrivals in Chennai but there’s no limit on number of departures. For other airports in TN flights will operate as in other parts of country,” he added.
It has been a long day of hard negotiations with various state govts to recommence civil aviation operations in the country.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 24, 2020
Except Andhra Pradesh which will start on 26/5 & West Bengal on 28/5, domestic flights will recommence across the country from tomorrow.
As per request of state govt, operations in Andhra Pradesh will recommence on limited scale from 26 May. For Tamil Nadu there will be max 25 arrivals in Chennai but there's no limit on number of departures.For other airports in TN flights will operate as in other parts of country— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 24, 2020
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh pointed out mere thermal scanning would not be enough to determine infection in passengers and in this situation new positive cases were likely to increase the already burdened red zones of the state. He also mentioned the lack of public transport to ply people to their destinations from airport
Its extremely ill-advised to reopen airports in red zone. Mere thermal scanning of passengers inadequate w/o swabs. Impossible to have autos/cabs/buses ply in current circumstances. Adding positive passenger will add Covid stress to red zone.#MaharashtraGovtCares— ANIL DESHMUKH (@AnilDeshmukhNCP) May 23, 2020
The West Bengal government had appealed to the Centre to delay flight operations from the state in view of the damage caused by Cyclone Amphan.
It said no flights will operate from Kolkata and Bagdogra Airport till May 28 and has requested the Centre to keep the operation suspended till May 30 for the state.
Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had on Saturday requested the Union Civil Aviation Ministry to delay flight operations into the state till May 31.