It is still unknown when Filipinos can fly again as the enhanced community quarantine was extended twice yet the number of new COVID-19 cases in the country continue to rise, but Philippines’ aviation industry is preparing for when people can fly again.
Philippine Airlines has announced that social distancing will be observed in cabin seating options. Moreover, “rigorous cabin cleaning and disinfection” by the crew in full personal protective equipment will be implemented and high-efficiency particulate air filters have been installed on planes to purify cabin air.
The usual thermal scan, hand sanitizers, gloves, face masks, social distancing, sanitizing floor mats and health forms can also be expected.
There is also a change in what passengers can carry in the cabin. Passengers could carry only up to two kilos of carry-on luggage but will get a five-kilo free checked baggage allowance. They may also carry onboard up to 10 100-millilitre bottles of sanitizers with up to 70% alcohol content.
Philippine low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific, on the other hand, has announced its Contactless Flights protocol.
Meanwhile, a series of safety protocols should be expected by passengers and crew at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) once air travel resumes. The following are the “new normal” that will welcome us ahead:
Health checks will be mandatory using thermal scanners and all departing passengers shall be required to electronically fill out a health declaration form and passenger locator form for the purpose of contact tracing if needed later.
Contactless security check
There will be less physical contact and manual frisking unless for “exceptional instances or situations”. Security checks shall be conducted through the use of x-ray machines, portable scanners, handheld metal detectors added.
Acrylic barriers in all check-in counters and help desks in the four NAIA terminals are being installed and yellow markers on the floors to ensure social distancing is observed at all times.
All NAIA facilities, including aerobridges, baggage conveyors, check-in counters, immigration, customs and other help desks will be constantly sanitized, the officials said. Foot baths that have been set up in all entry and exit points, such as boarding bridges and in similar areas where passengers leave or board an aircraft.
Personal protective equipment
It seems that employees will have a new uniform as the agency has sought the assistance of the Bureau of Quarantine in choosing what type of personal protective equipment is appropriate for its frontline employees.