Vilnius Airport saw the first post-pandemic passenger flight on May 13th. Lufthansa performed the first renewed flight between Frankfurt am Main and Vilnius. Lithuania’s largest airport is fully ready to resume passenger flights. The airport has implemented necessary health safety measures that are recommended by national health officials and international aviation organizations.
“From the start of the quarantine, Vilnius Airport never stopped operating. Throughout this crisis, we continued to handle cargo flights and prepare for the return of passenger operations. During this time, airplanes were also being maintained in the facilities present at our airport. Implementing the necessary health safety measures is now our main priority, so passengers arriving to the airport will see a different scene to the one they were used to. I want to highlight that all measures are taken for our travellers’ own safety”, - tells Dainius Čiuplys, Head of Vilnius Airport.
According to Mr. Čiuplys, the number of returning routes and passengers will all depend on various factors that are all linked to international restrictions set in place by multiple countries. Nevertheless, the first returning passenger flights show the first signs of aviation’s revival process.
Health safety measures
The main health safety measures at all Lithuanian Airports - in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga - will be related to passengers maintaining social distancing, managing passenger flows and reducing the probability of human contact. Passengers are reminded that adhering to these measures is also a matter of their own responsibility.
Only passengers who have successfully passed a thermal inspection will be allowed to enter the terminal building. All passengers will be required to present a valid flight ticket, and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) will be mandatory at all times. There will also be a possibility to purchase PPE at the airport.
Hand disinfection stations are placed in commonly used areas, whereas all surfaces are regularly cleaned and disinfected. Information on the recommended safety measures are both voiced though the airport’s audio system and shown on information screens. For now, a limited number of registration desks will be used which will be additionally secured using glass walls. All passengers waiting in line to register for a flight will be required to maintain a safe distance from each other.
Protective glass walls are also be erected in the aviation security screening checkpoint. There, hand disinfectants will be available for passengers, and all surfaces will be regularly cleaned and disinfected. Baggage trolleys and all other equipment used by passengers will be regularly cleaned and disinfected. Boxes used in aviation security screening will be disinfected after each use.
The number of seating places will be limited in the terminal building in order to maintain social distancing. Only every second seat will be in use.
Ground handling providers will be required to disinfect their busses after every flight. Also, passenger numbers will be controlled during bus journeys to the airplane.
With the resumption of passenger flights, some aviation security rules have been altered. Now, passengers will be able to carry as much as 500 ml of disinfectant liquid. This liquid will have to be carried in its original packaging which must contain the manufacturer’s label, in which it must be clearly stated that the liquid is indeed a disinfectant. This exception is only valid for disinfectant liquids; for all other liquids – existing rules apply. Passengers will not be allowed to bring liquids on an aircraft which exceed 70% alcohol concentration.
Passengers are advised to follow the recommendations of not only the airports, but also their air carriers.
Passengers are reminded that until current requirement is lifted, all passengers will be required to pass border control.
The network of Lithuanian Airports comprises of three air gateways in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga. In 2019 they all served 6.5 million passengers and 62 thousand flights.
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