Guidelines to Airlines for Transporting Covid-19 Vaccines

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the country’s civil aviation regulator, has notified guidelines for airlines and other aircraft operators for the transportation of Covid-19 vaccines.

Key Points

  • As per the guidelines, all the scheduled operators who presently have the authorization to transport dangerous goods may transport the COVID-19 vaccine packed in dry ice after meeting all the regulatory requirements.
  • Non-scheduled operators who are to participate in the transfer of COVID-19 vaccines packed in dry ice will have to obtain specific approval before starting any such operation.
  • As per the notification, the temperature of dry ice varying from -8C to -70C is affordable for transporting the COVID-19 vaccines.
  • All the aircraft and operators involved in the transportation of vaccines will have to maintain the maximum quantity of dry ice that can be loaded in passenger cabins (if passenger aircraft is being used) or cargo holds.
  • The airlines will have to prepare Do’s and Don’ts points handling of COVID-19 vaccines during the transportation process.
  • Only trained personnel should be deployed for handling such packages containing vaccines.
  • If a passenger aircraft is carrying COVID-19 vaccines, passengers will not be allowed in the passenger cabin.

The Drugs Controller General of India has already given the emergency-use authorization to the Serum Institute in India’s Covishield vaccine and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

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