All preventive health measures necessary for air travel are in place, Turkey's transport and infrastructure minister said on Monday as the country resumed domestic flights in line with the normalization plan amid a decline in coronavirus numbers.
Speaking at a ceremony before the first commercial flight in months from Istanbul left for capital Ankara, Adil Karaismailoglu said important steps were taken by the government in order to return to normal days with respect to road, rail and air travel.
"For the past month, we have been working hard to make the necessary preparations for the airports," he said, adding that an airports certification program has been launched in line with guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
Airports taking preventive health measures will document their status by getting a certification, he added.
The certificate includes not only the airport and terminal operators and ground handling companies, but also the transportation vehicles that bring passengers to the airport, and the necessary measures to be taken by each institution and organization, including passengers.
The certification process of six airports -- Istanbul, Sabiha Gokcen, Esenboga, Izmir Adnan Menderes, Antalya and Trabzon -- has been completed thus far, the minister added.
"Starting today, we are moving to a new period of physical distancing at all stages of the journey, from entry to airports to exit at destination," Karaismailoglu said.
He said that wearing masks, full compliance with social distancing, taking personal and institutional hygiene measures, and employing protective equipment are the four elements the government will never compromise at airports against the pandemic.
"We share the measures we take at our airports with all countries. Our negotiations and efforts to restart international flights continue," he concluded.
*Written by Aysu Bicer in Ankara