DAINIK NATION BUREAU
The already arduous security checks at India’s airports are set to become a notch more irritating for flyers. Commuters will now be asked to place everything in the x-ray basket, including wallets, mobile phones, pens, chargers or any other electronic devices for an added layer of screening.
Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), has recently started taking extra caution while screening travellers on airports to avoid any security breach. According to a report, CISF has started to even check “odd-sized” pens for suspicion of knives being carried in them.
At Pre-Embarkation Security Checks (PESC) on airports, CISF officials usually scan passenger bags and their pockets and often ask passengers to empty their bags if the scanner displays clutter, which takes up more time. The new initiative of separate security checks for electronic items will help save time in such cases.
Boards and warning messages at PESCs will also be put up by CISF at the security checks asking travellers to avoid carrying such items as that is not permitted inside the plane.
With the growing Indian aviation market, that has soared 65 per cent over the last five years, PESCs are usually crowded at every airport. With the separate screening process, CISF wants to speed up the baggage screening process.
In a report published last year, CISF says, “Total passenger traffic at all airports has increased by (over) 65% in the last five years. However, this increase is skewed and is abnormally high during peak hours at certain airports… Despite this huge increase in (peak hour rush), the security infrastructure and manpower have remained the same, resulting in congestion at security checkpoints and undue pressure on security personnel for speedy clearance.”
The Airport Authority of India (AAI), is exploring options of 3D tomography used in the US and UK, which does not require passengers to unpack their laptops and other items for security checks.ET