T.N. not in favour of resuming flight services
‘State government may take up issue with the Centre’
With the spike in COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, the State government has opposed resumption of flights connecting cities in the State till the month-end, and might take up the matter with the Centre, an official said on Friday. The immediate concern of the government is to screen all passengers arriving in the State. The Civil Aviation Ministry will resume the services from Monday.
With the spike in COVID-19 cases weighing heavily upon it, the Tamil Nadu government has come out against resumption of domestic flights connecting cities in the State, till the month-end, and may take up the matter with the Centre, an official said on Friday.
With the Union Civil Aviation Ministry gearing up to resume the services from Monday, Tamil Nadu hopes that the plans will be deferred.
Officials in the Secretariat said that the stand taken by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami against the resumption of regular air services till May 31 remained.
“The government may take up the issue with the Centre,” an official told PTI.
The immediate concern of the government is to screen all passengers arriving in the State and keep track of the infected, if any. The sheer volume of passengers at the airports would make the health machinery concentrate more on inbound visitors, officials said.
In the last ten days, the Health Department has detected 66 cases among returnees from abroad by flights and from other States by trains. They have all been quarantined.
As per the government guidelines on COVID-19 prevention and management, all persons entering the State should be scanned for the virus and if found to have symptoms, have to be taken to government facilities for treatment. Those who don’t show symptoms will be home quarantined.
During his interaction with the Prime Minister through video-conferencing on May 11, Mr. Palaniswami had pitched against restarting of air and rail services in Tamil Nadu, till May-end.
An airport official said that the schedule of passenger flights that would arrive here after resumption of services was yet to be received. Officials are gearing up for operations at the airport, which has only handled cargo services since the lockdown was enforced.
Gearing up: Arrangements are under way at Chennai airport to resume domestic flight operations on May 25.