Government asks airports to give priority to passenger amenities

 – Gudstory

Government asks airports to give priority to passenger amenities – Gudstory

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New Delhi: The Civil Aviation Ministry has issued guidelines to airport operators across India, giving priority to passenger amenities over commercial establishments and lounges to reduce congestion at airports.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Friday stressed the need to seamlessly integrate commercial activities into passenger flows, advocating for clear emergency evacuation routes and minimum travel distance for passengers between retail and dining areas.

As a result of these guidelines, various airports have already initiated changes. For example, Delhi Airport removed the reserve lounge at Terminal 3 to install additional X-ray machines, Mumbai Airport expanded its security checkpoint by removing some shops, and Jaipur Airport added an additional departure lounge. Made the door.

These measures are part of the government’s strategy to better manage airport congestion, which is expected to improve with the addition of screening points, additional Central Industrial Security forces and immigration personnel and the anticipated installation of the first body scanners by May.

Zulfiqar Hasan, director general of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, noted the delay in setting up due to international tender processes but confirmed the plan to start from Delhi airport.

In April, Mint had reported about the government’s three-pronged approach to deal with airport congestion, including more screening points, a digital pre-queue process and more security personnel.

The year-long study by the ministry assessed congestion at the country’s top 16 airports, which resulted in a significant increase in check-in counters and X-ray baggage machines. Notably, Delhi airport leads with the highest number of X-ray machines and immigration counters.

Additionally, the deployment of CISF personnel at 16 airports has increased by 21%, with Chandigarh and Jaipur airports recording the highest percentage increase.

The number of immigration counters has also increased at many airports except Mumbai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Goa Dabolim, Chandigarh and Bhubaneswar. Delhi airport with the most arrival and departure immigration counters leads with 174, followed by Mumbai with 140, Chennai with 102 and Kolkata with 92. In 16 major airports except Patna, the total number of immigration personnel has reached 1002. Up from 808 last year.

Scindia also highlighted the growing acceptance of the government’s paperless boarding programme, Digi Yatra, which is currently operational at 13 airports and caters to about 85% of passenger traffic. Plans are underway to expand Digi Yatra to 25 more airports by the end of 2024, taking total coverage to 96% of domestic air traffic, and also collect data for digital travel experiences on international flights.

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Published: 15 Dec 2023, 06:50 PM IST


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