Tuesday, April 07, 2020

500 unsung heroes keep Delhi's IGI safe

New Delhi: With no domestic or international flight operations due to the 21-day lockdown, the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) is wearing a deserted look, probably for the first time since it has become operational. However, almost 500 personnel are staying on the premises and still on duty every day to sanitise and disinfect each item inside the airport.
Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), which manages the airport, said that though commercial operations had been halted, special flights — ferrying stranded citizens of various countries — were still functioning, making it essential to sanitise every item in the area after each operation.

“When almost everyone is in the safe environs of home following the nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19, some unsung heroes are working round the clock,” said the DIAL spokesperson.

They are in a way leading a “quarantined life as they are not even going back home to meet their families,” he added.

The team functioning 24x7 includes staff dealing with trolleys, sanitisation, security, airport rescue and firefighting, airside operations, inline baggage and landside management.

DIAL is, meanwhile, also preparing for resumption of commercial operations with social-distancing lines being drawn inside and near counters. “They have been marked with yellow colour,” said an airport official.
After international flights were suspended on March 22, domestic operations came to a grinding halt on March 24 at 11:59pm. While more than 10 evacuation flights have been operated during this period by India to ferry its stranded citizens abroad, it also handled 29 flights (between March 25, 2020 and April 2, 2020) in which about 5,751 stranded foreign nationals flew to their country of origin from the IGI airport. The biggest aircraft used was an Airbus 380 by Lufthansa, which flew around 500 Germans to Frankfurt.
07/04/20 Jasjeev Gandhiok/Times of India

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