Taking Out Phones, Chargers For Security Check At Airport Could End Soon

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Taking Out Phones, Chargers For Security Check At Airport Could End Soon

Air travel in India has picked up as COVID-19 restrictions have eased.

New Delhi:

Passengers may soon be able to zip through airport security checks without having to lay out laptops, phones and chargers in separate trays, easing the congestion that has made headlines this month, reports said on Wednesday.

The aviation security watchdog, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), is set to roll out a mandate within a month that will speed up the adoption of modern equipment to screen bags without removing electronic devices, The Hindu newspaper reported.

The new baggage scanners, already in use at many airports in the US and Europe, do not require passengers to their electronic devices or jackets.

“Our aim is to clear the passengers faster and with better security equipment,” a Union Civil Aviation Ministry official, was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times newspaper last week.

The new machines will be first installed in all major airports such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad and reach other airports within a year, the report said.

The move comes after authorities were left scrambling last week to tackle a surge in travel that overwhelmed some of the country’s busiest airports, prompting calls for more staff and security equipment.

Passengers queued for hours to pass through check-in and security at the main domestic and international terminals of Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, leading to some flight delays.

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia visited the airport and said more x-ray machines and staff were added to Terminal 3.

He said additional measures were also being taken at other airports, including those in Mumbai and Bengaluru.

“In the last 24 to 36 hours, all agencies have swung into action to mitigate congestion at every checkpoint at all major airports. Congestion at entry points and check-in counters at T3 has eased,” Mr Scindia said.

Like in other countries, air travel in India has picked up as COVID-19 restrictions have eased.

The congestion at Delhi airport prompted India’s biggest airline IndiGo to ask passengers to arrive at Delhi airport for check-in at least 3-1/2 hours before their flight, instead of the usual two hours. Other airlines had to delay flights.

December is a busy month for the global aviation sector, and traffic is expected to be higher this year after two years of restricted travel due to the pandemic.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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