You can now exit airport through departure gates

Aviation security watchdog BCAS has introduced new guidelines enabling passengers to exit aircraft through airport departure gates if there are significant delays in flight operations after boarding. The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) issued these directives due to the increasing instances of congestion and flight delays, resulting in passengers being stranded onboard for extended periods.

According to BCAS Director General Zulfiquar Hasan, these guidelines, which came into effect on March 30, aim to reduce inconvenience for passengers, sparing them from prolonged stays inside aircraft post-boarding, a PTI report stated.

“Airport operators are tasked with ensuring the necessary infrastructure, including screening facilities, to implement these guidelines,” Hasan stated, emphasizing that decisions regarding passenger deboarding will be made jointly by airlines and relevant security agencies.

Speaking at the 38th Raising Day of the BCAS, Hasan highlighted the need to address congestion at airports, labeling it as “unwelcome.” He mentioned the agency’s efforts in developing optimal standards and tools to manage this issue efficiently.

Furthermore, BCAS plans to introduce smart security lanes to enhance passenger experience at airports. Hasan also revealed plans to activate full-body scanners at Bangalore airport this month, with similar deployments slated for airports with annual passenger traffic exceeding 5 million.

The surge in domestic air traffic, currently witnessing around 3,500 flights daily, necessitates proactive measures to mitigate congestion. In February, BCAS instructed seven scheduled airlines to ensure timely baggage arrival at airports following aircraft landings, addressing complaints about baggage delays.

The issuance of fines totaling Rs 1.80 crore to IndiGo and Mumbai airport operator MIAL on January 17, in response to passengers consuming food on the airport tarmac, underscores the significance of adhering to aviation regulations amid operational challenges.

While the initiatives undertaken by BCAS and other authorities have begun to yield results in managing airport congestion, Hasan acknowledges the ongoing challenge of keeping pace with the sector’s growth.

These developments underscore the ongoing efforts to enhance passenger convenience and safety within India’s aviation sector.

Harry Byrne

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