Talking exclusively to the Times of Oman, the senior personnel for Ground Operations at Oman Air said that: “it is not simple to address to the question when the Airport is going to begin its operation. However, there is the road map that is being structured for most of the industry and not just for Oman on how are we working on and in terms of making it compliant.
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“There are a number of factors that are currently under study and we will be waiting for a policy release from The International Civil Aviation Organization which is expected to be released on the 30th of May. So, considering all of this, we are looking at not before the start of the next month. There is no specific time, but it will definitely be not before the next month,” he said.
Speaking about the road map, the official said that the one aspect that is universal to understand is that this particular factor is unknown and there is no historical data to see how to deal with a situation like this.
“So, the potential road map that has been designed by the IATA and other international bodies essentially comes down to two things – one, we need to make the environment safe for travel and get the confidence of the consumer that it is safe to be able to prove to them that we are in control. Secondly, to prove to the international community that we have done everything, we are in the best form at Muscat or at Oman airports, and that we are COVID-19 compliant,” he said.
Highlighting the precautionary measures that will be taken once the operation at the airport begins, the senior personnel said that in that context there are two things that are being done or looked into.
“Number one being bio-screening. There are a lot of technologies being explored in terms of looking at machines that could essentially say that whether you are a carrier or not; whether the person traveling has no symptoms but is he/she a carrier or not. We already saw some news yesterday from Vienna Airport that they have come up with a machine that tells you whether a person is a carrier or not.
“Second aspect is social distancing and sanitizers that have been recommended from the IATA,” he said.
The official also added that: “there a lot of technologies being explored in these areas including ultraviolet lights to clean the aircrafts and the airports, and to kill the virus and the bacteria.
“As we know that social distancing, wearing masks and wearing gloves are all in practice. The other thing that is also being looked at is seamless travel. We will highly encourage passengers to go for online check-in and we will make provisions for that to happen in making the journey very seamless.”
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