TN Stands Unclear on Resumptions of Flights amid Mounting Covid-19 Cases, Dithers on Decision as Bookings Begin


Image used for representational purpose. (Photo: Reuters)

Image used for representational purpose. (Photo: Reuters)

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday wrote to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, requesting him to defer air services till the end of the month.

  • News18 Chennai
  • Last Updated: May 24, 2020, 12:40 AM IST

With just about a day left for the slated reopening of air services, as decided by the Centre, Tamil Nadu continues to live in uncertainty over resumptions of flights as the state government has kept to its stance of disallowing flights till May end in view of mounting Covid-19 case load and the responsibility of quarantining fliers.

Ready to receive planes, the Chennai Airport was, however, unclear on arrangements related to quarantining and testing passengers arriving from various cities, said top officials.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday wrote to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, requesting him to defer air services till the end of the month and within the time frame, the state would review the Covid-19 situation and decide on resumption flights.

A top bureaucrat with the government said that the current protocol necessitated testing for “all coming from other states, or abroad.” This implies that Tamil Nadu would be required to conduct several hundreds of tests in addition to its current tally circling around 12,000 tests per day. Tamil Nadu is one of the top states in the country in terms of conducting Covid-19 tests per million.

The uncertainty was plainly visible in the stance of the aviation ministry, which seemed to indicate that it wanted the resumption of flights but had left the decision for the states to take.

During a video conference on May 11, the chief minister clearly explained his stance over the decision to resume flight services.

However, the fact that the state had to write a separate letter to the aviation ministry, reiterating its stand, displayed that a final decision on resuming air services in Tamil Nadu had still not been taken.

Till now, there has been no official press release from the state on the status of resumption of flight services that is slated to begin on Monday, May 25.




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