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Maharashtra Govt Says No to resuming Flight operations, Will Continue Lockdown Till May 31

The state government has said that there was no consultation with the Centre before the decision of resuming domestic flight operations was made.

Maharashtra government has said that there is no decision to let flight operations start from Monday in the state, adding that there is no change in policy as of now and the lockdown remains the same till May 31.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led government has said that the Centre “arbitrarily” made the decision to allow domestic flight operations and there was no consultation with the state.

It said that the state needs time to decide on the Standard Operating Protocols (SOP) over air travel, adding that “outside airport, everything becomes state government’s responsibility”.

Therefore, the Maharashtra government has decided to wait for a discussion with the Center before changing lockdown protocols for flight operation.

Meanwhile, sources in the Ministry of Civil Aviation have said that Maharashtra, like all other states, agreed to allow domestic civil aviation operations from and to the state.

“States were consulted before the decision was finalised. There can be no change as bookings have commenced and passengers are all geared up to fly from Monday,” sources said.

Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Puri had announced on Thursday that India will start domestic flight operations in a “calibrated manner” from May 25.

Earlier this month, in a communication to airport managers across the country, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had asked all airports to be prepared to handle flight operations.

Airport operators have been asked to make appropriate arrangements for sanitisation of a passenger’s baggage before his or her entry into the terminal building.