by Samuel Sukhnandan
Active consideration is being given to introducing contactless services at Guyana’s airports, as plans for reopening could now be shifted to August month-end.
This was disclosed by Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Manager of Aviation Security, Abraham Doris during the first stakeholder consultation hosted by the Tourism Recovery Action Committee (TRAC) on Thursday.
“I think the airport is considering having self check-in systems or kiosks. They hope to have it operational pretty soon,” he explained.
In addition to that the Immigration Department has indicated that they are making arrangements to have some boarding passes presented electronically to them.
Mr. Doris said, “with regards to the security checkpoint where passengers had to present documentation before, instead of the personnel taking documents to examine it, you will be asked to open the relevant pages. And that will be implemented too.”
These initiatives aim to eliminate the need for travellers to touch high-contact surfaces in order to manage the risk of spreading the deadly coronavirus.These changes are expected to be introduced throughout airports when they are reopened.
Meanwhile, Mr. Doris said the GCAA has been advised by the Public Health Ministry to change the reopening plans moving it from August 1 to August 28 instead, however, a decision is yet to be made based on that recommendation.
He stated that the authority has maintained a robust approach to ensure small and large aviation operators comply with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and regulations implemented by the GCAA. These include: sanitisation of passengers, airports and airplanes; social distancing onboard aircraft and at the airports; and disinfection of luggage and screening of both incoming and outgoing passengers.
In the meantime, only limited repatriation flights as approved by the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) will be allowed entry.
COVID-19 has hit the wider travel and transportation industry disproportionately hard; with airports and airlines being impacted since early 2020.
Guyana’s airports have been closed since early March.