CAA issues new coronavirus SOPs for international inbound flights


ISLAMABAD: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Friday announced new coronavirus Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for international flights and passengers arriving in Pakistan. 

“All Airlines are to ensure that all SOPs implemented by the PCAA is followed in letter & spirit by all passengers and crew members. Noncompliance shall result in strict punitive action by PCAA,” read the official notification issued by CAA.

According to the details in the official document, the aircraft traveling to Pakistan shall be disinfected in accordance with the procedures prescribed by PCAA before passenger boarding. 

“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,” the aviation authority underscored.

Passengers coming to Pakistan from Category C countries will have to undergo two tests of the novel coronavirus. Passengers from Category B countries will have to undergo the test 96 hours before their arrival in Pakistan. 

However, special delegations visiting the country will be exempted from the coronavirus test.

The plane coming to Pakistan will have to be sprayed with a disinfectant and passengers will be seated apart with the gap of one seat between them as a precautionary measure. 

Moreover, the flight crew and passengers will have to wear masks at all times during the flight.

The aviation authority has approved charter flights for international passengers as well. These flights will be operational from today till December 31.

In addition, passengers, aircraft, and crew members traveling to Pakistan shall fill the Health Declaration Forms prior to boarding the aircraft which shall be disseminated by airlines. 

“It shall be mandatory for all passengers traveling to Pakistan to download and install the PASS TRACK app from the Google Play Store/Apple Store and enter their personal details as required,” read the official document.

However, the following passengers shall be exempted from both RT-PCR testing and downloading the PASS TRACK app. These persons will, though, submit complete Health Declaration Forms at the airport at the time of arrival in Pakistan. 

The exempted persons are:

a. Passengers less than 12 years old

b. Disabled passengers

c. High level international delegations

Under the new SOPs, the data of all passengers traveling in the aircraft will have to be provided to the authorities before the flight begins. 

All passengers are required to wear face masks throughout the duration of flights except during meal timings. The masks shall be provided by the airline at check-in counter of the airport if the passengers do not have their own.

One seat will have to be left vacant between the two passengers. Passengers from 21 countries in Category A will not be required to test for COVID-19.

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