Domestic and International Aviation Protocols

Professionals & Health Workers


General Points
  • Notify passengers to arrive at airports in sufficient time before departure which contribute to implementation the precautions measure effectively.
  • Allowing the possibility of loading luggage from the City Terminal and going to the airport without luggage to reduce overcrowding.
  • Use floor stickers to direct and maintain safe physical distances (one and a half meters) and prevent congestion (such as: in the embarking and disembarking areas, at the entrances and exits of the terminals, in the queues at the counters, at the passport offices, in front of the elevators, in the boarding area, and at security checkpoints).
  • Use mechanisms to verify tickets without contact (such as infrared or QR code scanners).
  • Encourage employees at highest risk according to Appendix A to work remotely from home.
  • All travelers, airport visitors, and employees in all facilities must wear masks. It is preferable to wear it for those under the age of seven, and it is prohibited for those under two years.
  • Allow prayers in the designated place with the necessity to follow the protocols of the mosques, and the presence of supervisors to regulate entry and prevent crowding.
  • Train staff at the checkpoints and the airlines staff on using the temperature measuring device and they must be trained in how to wear masks and other protective equipment.
    • Prevent visitors other than passengers or employees from entering the airport by checking tickets or the work I.D. The accompanying should not enter except in necessary cases, such as accompanying people with special needs.
  • Perform a temperature check in every department to all employees before starting the work.
  • The carrier must check the temperature of the cabin crew daily before the start of the work period.
  • Establishing channels to communicate with passengers and employees to report any breach of requirements and to report and record violations. The person in charge must be trained in that.
  • Referring to the updated guide regarding the isolation or quarantine procedures to deal with those coming from outside the Kingdom.
At Entrances and Exits
  • A checkpoint must be set up at the entrances of the airport to check the passengers, visitors, and employee’s temperature by using a device approved by the Food and Drug Authority.
  • Provide hand sanitizers on counters and at entrances.
  • Symptomatic employees and crew members of the airplane [whose temperature exceeds 38 ° C] should be isolated and prevented from coming to work.
  • Prevent passengers who show symptoms [sneezing and coughing, or whose temperature exceeds 38 ° C, by means of a device approved by the Food and Drug Authority] from entering the terminals.
Inside the Terminal
  • Reduce the number of people allowed to use shared spaces and facilities to maintain the recommended social distancing (of one and a half meters) (such as duty free, waiting areas, boarding areas, and restrooms).
  • Disinfect places and surfaces in the lounges that are used frequently between different shifts (such as: prayer rooms, work offices, boarding counters, etc.).
  • Restrict meetings and gatherings [follow social sector protocols].
  • Provide adequate, appropriate and equipped isolation rooms in the terminals [in compliance with the directives of the competent authorities] for cases showing symptoms [sneezing and coughing, or whose temperature exceeds 38 degrees Celsius] while in the terminal.
  • Close non-essential public areas (such as smoking rooms).
  • Provide hand sanitizers beside touch devices such as ATMs or automatic vending machines.
  • Enforce one-way stairs at all times.
  • Ensure that hand soap and disinfectant are available in the toilets.
  • Chairs in waiting areas and dining tables must be placed in a way that guarantees social distancing of no less than (one and a half meters), making sure to leave the same distance between passengers while transporting to and from airplanes when using the corridors or buses.
  • The staff and crew of the airplane must reduce personal contact with passengers, wear a mask and gloves when interacting with them, and adhere to social distancing.
  • Urge passengers to use electronic means of payment and avoid paper and coins in restaurants and the ticket-buying area as much as possible.
  • Environmental surfaces such as check-in platforms, reception or waiting areas for passengers, and fingerprint devices in passport counters must be disinfected every two hours with disinfectants approved by the Food and Drug Authority (sodium hypochlorite), along with following the instructions shown on the packages with an emphasis on places where there is a high possibility of contact such as, door handles, dining tables, seat cushions, elevator switches, etc.
  • Dirt should be removed with soap and water before disinfection of surfaces.
  • Airplanes that have been used must be completely and continuously disinfected and sterilized after their arrival, including passenger seats, seat belts, dining tables, restrooms, and luggage lockers.
  • Buses and corridors designated to transport passengers to and from airplanes must be periodically disinfected.
  • Ensure that the toilets are disinfected every two hours.
  • A schedule of disinfection times for surfaces and toilets should be kept.
  • Disposable eating utensils must be used when serving food on airplanes and in airport lounges.
  • Ensure good ventilation in all places inside the airport, especially common places, and reduce the temperatures in general in airport lounges and in the airplanes in particular.
  • Air filters for ventilators, especially air conditioners, must be changed or cleaned periodically.
  • Allow restaurants and prayer places to open while following the preventive protocols.
  • Duty-free shops allowed to open with an emphasis on sterilizing items periodically and providing sterilizers in visible places of the shops if possible.
  • Put social distance signs and sanitizers next to water coolers, coffee machines and food refrigerators, with only single-use cups when using water coolers.
  • Hand sanitizers should be replaced next to the interactive screens, boarding pass extraction screens and display touch screens.
  • The fingerprint machine for recording employee’s attendance must be stopped.
  • It is important to have a waste no-touch bin, and waste must be disposed of continuously.
  • Reduce the number of passengers inside buses and maintain physical distance between them while transporting to and from airplanes.
  • Supervisors must organize passengers waiting at check-in counters, passport counters, luggage inspection and receiving, and restaurants by placing visible signs or stickers on the floor to ensure a distance of one and a half meters between individuals.
  • Determine the number of people using elevators by leaving the recommended physical distance (one and a half meters).
Inside the Terminal – Staff
  • Require employees, including customer service employees, to adhere to preventive hygiene practices (such as using disinfectants and frequent hand washing).
  • Customer service employees must work from cabins or offices with an appropriate distance from passengers (for example using protective glass barriers).
  • Prevent moving between different work areas without disinfection.

Inside the Plane

General Points
  • Maintain the recommended social distance (one and a half meters] between passengers at all times.
  • Maintaining social distancing as much as possible according to the plane’s occupancy rate, with the importance of notifying passengers when booking that the ticket does not guarantee the existence of an empty seat between everyone.
  • Consider allocating some seats (such as the last three rows) as a quarantine area to deal with potential emergencies during the flight.
  • Allow meals during flights.
  • Allow air sales in the plane.
  • Standard cleaning and disinfection procedures should be applied to the passenger cabin after every flight.
  • Disinfect toilets after every use and provide hygienic disposable seat covers.
  • Ensure good ventilation and reduce the temperature inside the airplanes. It is preferable to provide the airplanes with the necessary equipment to monitor and measure air quality if possible.
  • Remove all hard book copies and journals except for the emesis bag to be replaced on every flight
  • Passengers and plane crew must follow the basic infection control practices:
    1. Avoid touching noes and lips after washing hands or while wearing gloves.
    2. Practice the routine hand washing for at least 40 seconds and use hand sanitizer for 20 seconds especially after touching surfaces or removing personal protective equipment, or after dealing with passengers.
    3. Treat all body fluids (such as diarrhea, vomiting, or blood) the same as those suspected of being infected.
    4. Cleaning and disinfection of contaminated areas.
    5. Train the cabin crew in basic infection practices and how to deal with the suspected cases during the fight.
    6. Encourage passengers to disclose any symptoms if they feel ill.
    7. The prayer area in the plane, if any, must be closed.
  • Provide personal hygiene tools (such as wet wipes, sanitary sheets, face masks made of cloth and sterilizers) for each passenger.
  • All passengers are required to wear a face mask before boarding the plane and at all times during the flight.
Airplane Crew Members
  • Passengers should be reminded to remain at their seats during the flight, except in emergency cases.
  • Safety and health instructions in different languages must be placed in the cabin of the aircraft and passengers should be regularly advised by video / or voice message.
  • Reduce the services provided to passengers.
  • Before landing: the disclosure forms must fill out in case this is requested from the relevant authorities.
  • Crew members must disinfect their hands before providing services to passengers.
  • All crew members must wear gloves and fabric masks or what covers the nose and mouth at all times during work, and avoid touching the mouth, nose and eyes while wearing gloves.
  • The carrier must include the following point in the safety instruction” the passenger must remove the mask before using the plane’s oxygen masks in the event of an emergency” to ensure that the instructions are clear to the passenger.
  • Follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health regarding people coming from outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Procedures when a suspected case of COVID-19 is appearing on the plane
  • Identify passengers who show symptoms during the flight and are suspected of having Covid-19 when the patient suffers from: (high temperature 38 ° C or more, respiratory symptoms: such as coughing and difficulty breathing).
  • If a passenger appears ill, the following procedures must be applied:
    • A passenger who has symptoms must be seated in a specific seat with two empty seats in each direction around his seat.
    • Assign a crew member to deal with suspected passengers during the flight.
    • Contacting with sick passengers should be as short as possible.
    • Sick passengers not allowed to move as possible except for emergency cases.
    • A passenger who shows symptoms during the flight must have a toilet allocate to him near to his\her seat.
    • The Passenger Locator Form should be used in case there is a sick passenger on the plane. This form is useful for gathering information about passengers and cabin crew who were in contact with the patient.
    • The crew members who deal with the patient should use the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Report the suspected cases to the Epidemiological Monitoring Center at the airport and MOH’s staff to obtain the required directions to transfer the case to the hospital.
  • The suspected case will disembark after all passengers leave unless the case requires urgent intervention.
  • Report cases among the staff and crew of the plane that have a high fever or respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath) and are suspected of having Covid-19 according to the standards approved in “The Guidelines for the Emerging Corona Disease Covid-19”. Record their data and report them immediately to the Epidemiological Monitoring Center at the airport or call 937 to obtain the required directions to transfer the case to the hospital.
  • It is necessary to cooperate with the Ministry of Health in the process of monitoring people who were in contact, if the case has a positive result by (the Command and Control Center and Public Health in the region) in order to apply the epidemiological investigation procedures and home quarantine according to the procedures followed.

Tracking and Reporting

  • With the continuous screening and isolation procedures that occur according to the approved protocols, (Tawakkalna) application is used to ensure the employee’s health status concerning COVID-19 disease. If the employee’s status is positive or in contact with a positive case, all this will appear at the application, will not be allowed to enter the workplace.
  • The employee can return to work after he completely recovers and checking that by updating his status in the Tawakkalna application.
  • Prepare a detailed daily record of employees’ previous travel trips and their health status, including the list of employees who are in quarantine.
  • Prepare a list of employees who work together, their work shifts and dates and reduce switching between them.
  • Follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health and the relevant authorities regarding Covid-19 before allowing any of the employees to resume work (including employees coming back from travel).
  • Ensure that temperature examination is carried out and the concerned authorities are informed about any cases whose temperature exceeds [38 ° C] for an employee, passenger, or crew member. Ensure that the case is isolated until referring it to the health care facility.
  • Ask all employees to apply self-isolation in case they show any symptoms of Covid-19.
  • In the event of a positive case of Covid-19, the Ministry of Health must be notified immediately, and the Ministry of Health directions must be followed regarding testing, tracking, and isolation of cases.

Communication and Implementation

  • Remind passengers of the necessity of ensuring the health requirements and protocols applied in the country to which they plan to go, as well as comply with any precautionary measures set by the authorities of the destination country (such as laboratory examination, quarantine and isolation).
  • Remind passengers to carry comprehensive and valid health insurance before traveling according to the requirements of each country.
  • Display disinfection best practices on screens inside airplanes and in terminals (such as disinfecting passenger seats and toilets before and after use).
  • Use digital channels (such as social media, phone applications, and text messages) and other channels (such as placing posters inside the plane and in the stations) to raise awareness among employees, passengers, and crew members about Covid-19 in alignment with the directives of the Ministry of Health.
  • Educating employees to adhere to the procedures of social distancing, disinfecting hands and wearing masks during transit.
  • Appoint protocol managers to ensure that established protocols issued by the competent authorities are followed.
  • Provide clients and employees with directions on sanitizing their hands before and after using shared facilities.
  • Conduct mandatory health and safety trainings on COVID-19 for all employees and crew.
Appendix (1): Groups at higher risk of infection