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Monday 4 May 2020

Has the way we fly changed forever?

Social distancing will not work at major airports during peak periods, Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye has said.

Holland-Kaye has said a common international standard of airport safety measures is needed within a month to save the northern hemisphere summer season and to safeguard jobs, Travel Mole reports.

The Heathrow boss called on British Prime Minister PM Boris Johnson to take a lead, arguing standard social distancing won't work because it would cause a kilometre-long queue for each flight.

In a Daily Telegraph column, he wrote: "Forget social distancing - it won't work in aviation or any other form of public transport, and the problem is not the plane, it is the lack of space in the airport.

"Just one jumbo jet would require a queue a kilometre long."

He told the Press Association domestic news agency: "It's just physically impossible to socially distance with any volume of passengers in an airport.

"Social distancing does not work in any form of public transport, let alone aviation."

He said a better solution is needed to make air travel safe. "The constraint is not about how many people you can fit on a plane, it will be how many people you can get through an airport safely."

He said a "package of measures" needs to be in place that is practical, medically proven and builds confidence.

He suggested health checks on entering a terminal, with passengers who are displaying high temperatures receiving further checks to ensure they can fly and said surgical face masks "'may become the norm".

He added contact between passengers and airport staff would need to be lessened and "fantastic levels of hygiene" maintained.

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