Civil Aviation Ministry Takes Steps To Prevent Airport Congestion Ahead Of Upcoming Festive Season

Arun Kumar Das

Aug 03, 2023, 02:16 PM | Updated 02:16 PM IST

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. (PIB)
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. (PIB)

Ahead of the upcoming festive season, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia took stock of the situation and instructed a series of steps to be undertaken to prevent airport congestion.

Major airports had witnessed congestion during festive season last year.

According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry is also being roped in for increasing Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) deployment immediately, followed by fresh augmentations at busy airports.

"Multiple measures are being worked out to mitigate any likelihood of airport congestion during the upcoming festive season this year which include additional manpower deployment by CISF in two phases by October 2023 and by November 2023," the Ministry maintains.

According to the Ministry, Bureau of Immigration staff reinforcement will start by October 2023.

In order to support security infrastructure at airports, additional X-ray machines, check-in counters, and self-baggage drop facilities will be added at airports.

Social media platforms will be used to provide real-time updates to passengers to make airport transit seamless. Information regarding enhancement in processing capacity and expansion of security check areas will also be communicated.

The issue of congestion at the major airports was witnessed in the last year’s festive season/winter 2022, which was a cause for longer waiting times at various touch points in passenger processing.

Last year Scindia had visited the Delhi Airport to inspect the arrangements, and had directed the airport operators at Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Chennai to identify bottlenecks and augment capacity to meet the growing passenger demand.

According to the Ministry, the causes of congestion were profiled, and it was observed that the broad causative factors were lack of sufficient airport infrastructure, inadequate X-Ray screening machines, bunching of flights particularly at peak hours and inadequate CISF manpower and immigration manpower to meet the requirement.

For improving requisite infrastructure at major airports, various actions were immediately taken last year. The number of X-ray machines was significantly increased at pre-embarkation security checkpoints. Additional entry gates were set up.

Waiting time screens were set at entry and police points to apprise passengers and the waiting area was increased. Support manpower was deployed to assist passengers. Airports operators were directed to ease out the number of flights during peak hours.

Digi Yatra was launched on 1 December 2022 and air travellers are now being encouraged to use Digi Yatra, a biometric-enabled seamless travel experience based on facial recognition technology.

In-flight announcements to encourage usage of the Digi Yatra platform are being made.

Additional space was also created by restructuring the terminal infrastructure to increase the capacity, ensure ease for passengers, and there-by help reduce congestion.

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