By Ashoke Raj
New Delhi [India], May 21 (ANI): The Delhi airport has handled twice the number of air ambulances at all the Indian airports and several foreign destinations in the last 50 days.
"The Delhi airport has been tirelessly supporting the government in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The General Aviation Terminal with adjoining Aircraft Parking Stands have been handling air ambulance services to all Indian airports and several international destinations like Germany, Dubai, Zurich, Kathmandu, Dhaka, as well," the airport said.
"With around 12 aircrafts currently permitted to operate from the airport, nearly 100 movements of COVID positive patients have been registered in the last 50 days. These aircrafts are available with medevac operations," it added.
Keeping in view the need of the hour, Delhi airport's General Aviation Terminal and dedicated Aircrafts Parking Apron have been playing a significant role in efficiently handling air ambulance services for safe and quick transportations of critical COVID-19 patients.
"While handling air ambulance lights, airside Follow-Me inspectors of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) escort the outside ambulance vehicles from airside gates up to the respective aircraft parking bays/apron and vice-versa. Often these flights are activated at a very short notice which requires expedited coordination among all the stakeholders for arranging necessary approvals for such flights," DIAL said in a statement.
Airports and Fixed-Base Operators (FBO) staff are operating 24x7 with a backup plan of manpower and resources to handle air ambulance flights on priority.
Isolation pods are required by the air ambulance to handle COVID-positive patients to the destination of any concern, which is mandated by the rules, though India is reporting a shortage of isolation pods that all air ambulances need during operations.
"The lack of isolation pods in India causes less air ambulance operation in the country. If we get isolation pods as per demand we can operate more ambulances," a private air ambulance operator told ANI.
DIAL also ensures timely sanitisation and follow all the health-related protocols during the ambulance operations. (ANI)