Mumbai. 05 March 2021. In the six months since launching the RT-PCR test facility, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has witnessed over 2,20,000 tests undertaken at the airport. With an aim to enhance the overall safety and comfort of passengers, CSMIA had introduced the RT-PCR test counters at the terminal on September 06, 2020. Since then, the airport has added new facilities, diligently carried out tests and has made constant efforts in accommodating and reducing dwell time for passengers awaiting the reports.
Since its launch in September, the airport has witnessed a surge in passengers taking the RT-PCR tests at the airport. CSMIA registered over 80923 tests undertaken in February 2021 as compared to approximately 1776 tests in September 2020. Of over 2,20,000 tests conducted at the airport in the period from September 2020 to February 2021, CSMIA has recorded a little over 1480 results as positive.
CSMIA had originally introduced the testing facility for arriving passengers in line with the norms of the government; the facility enabled passengers to submit a test sample at the counters at the airport and receive their report in 8 hours. Taking forward its commitment towards creating a safe and seamless passage for its passengers, the airport extended this facility for departing passengers as well in October 2020. It could also be availed by non-passengers visiting the airport to drop off or collect their loved ones. As a passenger-centric airport, CSMIA pays close attention to the comfort and convenience of its passengers. For passengers wanting a quicker result, CSMIA also rolled out an express test that provides results in 13 minutes.
CSMIA has adhered to the requirements as laid down by the government regarding the testing of domestic as well as international passengers. Currently, the airport hosts three facilities at its Terminal 2 located at Level 2 Arrival Exit near Gate B, Level 2 Airside corridor, and Level 4 Departure on the curbside opposite Gate 2. The testing facilities are handled by Suburban Diagnostics, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, Lifenity Wellness International Limited and Mylab Dicovery Solutions Pvt Ltd, respectively. CSMIA has established over 30 counters of testing facilities set up for international and domestic passengers, including those equipped with molecular testing facilities that offer passengers the option to process their test results in 13 minutes post sample collection. In line with government norms, the regular test that provides results within 8 hours can be availed by passengers at a minimal cost of INR 850 while the express test is available at INR 4500.
As per the latest directive from the government, passengers arriving or transiting from flights originating from United Kingdom (UK), Europe, Middle East, Brazil and South Africa with a final destination in Maharashtra will have to observe a compulsory institutional quarantine of 7 days at a state-designated facility irrespective of a negative report pre-boarding. All international arriving passengers who are transiting from CSMIA to other states in India will have to undergo a mandatory molecular test on arrival at the airport before their onward journey; passengers arriving from Brazil, South Africa and UK must wait at CSMIA until receiving their test result while those from Europe and Middle East can proceed with their journey post submission of their sample.
All other international arriving passengers will have to provide proof of a negative report of a test undertaken 72 hours prior to the arrival. Alternatively they can opt to undergo the molecular test on arrival at the airport, wherein post submitting the test sample they can proceed with their journey and receive their reports in 8 hours. Similarly, domestic passengers arriving at CSMIA from Delhi, Rajasthan, Goa, Gujarat and Kerala can opt to provide a negative test report taken 72 hours prior to travel or undergo the RT-PCR test on arrival at the airport. In lieu of the travel restrictions, passengers can also opt to undertake the test at CSMIA before their departure or at their destination airport.
Since the advent of the pandemic, CSMIA had implemented numerous SOPs, including the preventive measures laid down by health and government bodies to safeguard the well-being of the passengers and airport personnel. The airport continually strives to provide the best services and facilities to its passengers to ensure a seamless transit. CSMIA’s recent recognition as the Best Airport by Size and Region in the over 40 million passenger category is a further re-affirmation of the initiatives undertaken by the airport during the pandemic for enhancing the experience of its passengers. The RT-PCR test facility at CSMIA for both arriving and departing passengers is a boon for traveller concerns regarding the various quarantine regulations across borders.