The much talked about ‘new normal’ is now around the corner, and the aviation industry has brought about a lot of changes in its way of operations to deal with the situation. In this article, we have brought to you some crucial insights into the functional and organizational alterations that the airports have implemented to thrive amid the new normal.
- Strengthening social distancing and health screening measures through better surveillance
- Increased automation at several crucial checkpoints across the airport premises
- Better management of passenger flows at the major points through active monitoring
- Renewed training and preparations for the workforce to play a pivotal role in preventing the spread of COVID-19
With the world coming to a standstill and the countries shutting down their borders, the onset of the global pandemic changed the face of travel and tourism as we know it. And, undoubtedly, the airports had to bear its impact in a major way. There was no more of that mad dash for tickets, crowded immigration lines, sitting areas packed with people, big luggage bags all around, and the general bustle of the airports.
However, the aviation sector is known for being resilient to challenges and hurdles that come along its path. As such, when the country resumed domestic flights back in May, the airports were quick to adapt to the multitude of changes in its procedures and operations that came as part and parcel of this recommencement.
So, today we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, one of the leading aviation colleges in Kolkata, have decided to take a closer look at how the airports have geared up to welcome the new normal. Read on to know more.
New measures for social distancing and health screening
Given the highly transmissible nature of the coronavirus, the first and foremost thing to ensure is to pertain to the measures for social distancing and health screening. To that end, markers have been placed at each turn to remind travelers of the need to maintain distance. Additionally, authorities and teams are being present at all security check areas, boarding gates, check-in halls, and curbsides to ensure that adequate health screening is being carried out, along with following the norms of social distancing.
Specific measures for better hand-hygiene management
The significance of hand hygiene can never be stressed enough in the current scenario. No wonder why the health officials and the media consistently keep reminding the people about its importance. And, going by the studies that have revealed that as many as 30% of travelers avoid washing hands after using public restrooms, which further increases the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, the airports have enough reasons to particularly stress on the measures for better hand-hygiene management.
A 10% rise in the level of hand cleanliness at the airports can ensure a 24% reduction in the spread of a disease, while a 40% increase in the same can lead to a 69% reduction. This not only outlines the role of airports in controlling the pandemic but also highlights the significance of maintaining hand hygiene for all passengers.
The airports have provided touch-less hand sanitizers at different points along the premises and are also ensuring sanitization of the check-in baggage through UV machines. Furthermore, several points have been demarcated at the airports where hand sanitization is mandatory.
Increasing presence of automation at the airports
With the need of the hour being reducing the contact between passengers and staff, increased automation has become one of the prime focus of the airports. Though Indian airports were already making the move towards greater automation for the past couple of years, the resumption after the pandemic has accelerated the rate of adaption of advanced automated technologies.
Automated information kiosks are already a part of most airports, and these are being further enhanced with decision-making software and artificial intelligence. Here are a few areas where the airports have either already implemented or are in the process of implementing promising automation measures:
- Security surveillance
- Baggage collection from passengers
- Offering information regarding passenger transit
- Disinfecting and cleaning operations
The present health crisis might even accelerate the realization of the vision that airport robotization might be a possibility by 2030. Apart from the inherent cost-saving potential of increased automation, such solutions offer the added benefit of keeping both the passengers and the employees safe from close interactions.
Improved management of passenger flow at the major points
Just as the tower control makes sure that there is a safe separation between aircrafts, the airports are now promoting safe separation between the passengers! Better management of passenger flows at the major points pertains to taking a number of critical actions.
For instance, airports have regulated access to different areas, and are carrying out active monitoring of the expected and present passenger density to mitigate any chances of congestion. To add to that, since queues are simply unavoidable at places like check-in counters and passport control, improved queue management techniques are also being implemented.
Training and acquainting the teams to face the new normal
Last but not the least in importance, the pandemic has made the airport employees gear up for the latest challenges with a new round of training and preparation. After all, the airport managers and their teams are instrumental in ensuring the effective implementation of all the measures that we talked about so far. Being in the frontline of the fight against the pandemic, the airport staff are not only having to keep the premises protected and secure for the passengers but also ensure their own safety to offer the optimum level of services.
So, when it comes to being one of the leading forces of the country in its combat against COVID, the aviation industry needs an adaptable, proficient, and skilled workforce that can rise to the demand of the times. And, this is where our advanced training and real-world teaching methodologies come into the forefront.
As one of the pioneering aviation colleges in Kolkata offering world-class training in the field of aviation, tourism, and hospitality management, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, make sure that our students stand out based on their experiential knowledge, dexterity, and dedication to excel and succeed. So, if you want to see yourself making a mark in this dynamic field, let Avlon be the wind beneath your wings.