Shri Jyotiraditya M Scindia enumerates the measures taken to mitigate congestion at Airports
Systematic approach will ensure seamless and efficient travel experience for all passengers Shri Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Minister for Civil Aviation and Steel today said that congestion at different airports has been eased through systematic approach. Addressing
Systematic approach will ensure seamless and efficient travel experience for all passengers
Shri Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Minister for Civil Aviation and Steel today said that congestion at different airports has been eased through systematic approach. Addressing the media here, he outlined the comprehensive measures being taken to mitigate the congestion at Airports. These measures came in response to the challenges faced during the previous festive season and aims to ensure a seamless and efficient travel experience for all passengers. MoS, Ministry of Civil Aviation Gen. Dr Vijay Kumar Singh (Rtd.), along with the Secretary, Civil Aviation Shri Vumlunmang Vualnam were also present on the occasion.
The Minister informed that the issue of Congestion at major airports had been witnessed during last year festive season/ Winter 2022, which became a cause of concern, as it took longer waiting time for passenger processing at various touch points. Taking immediate stock of the situation, he personally visited the Delhi Airport along with Senior officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation in December 2022 to inspect the arrangements at the Airport and directed for necessary augmentation of infrastructure. Simultaneously, other major Airport Operators like Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Chennai were also directed to identify bottlenecks in passenger processing and augment their capacities to meet the growing passenger demands so that such congestion scenario does not recur in the upcoming festive season and during peak time. Subsequently, 10 more airports were identified in September ’23, where the Airport operators were sensitized to take proactive measures to avoid congestion in future by augmenting capacities, wherever required. The Causes of Congestion were identified and mitigating action plan was formulated and put into action.
In order to remove these bottlenecks and improve the infrastructure availability, several measures have been taken which are summarized as follows:
- Waiting Lounge, Retail Outlets, Office spaces have been demolished at Delhi, Mumbai and other airports to make space for accommodating more passenger infrastructure facilities there.
- Waiting time screens have been installed at entry and police naka points to apprise passengers about the waiting time.
- Additional entry gates/lanes have been opened.
- Airport Operators installed 2D bar code scanners at entry gates to facilitate automated entry and airlines were advised to ensure bar code on tickets issued to passengers so that the same can be readable by bar code scanners to facilitate smooth entry of passengers.
- Support manpower has been deployed to assist passengers.
- Waiting area has been increased both at entry and at security hold area.
- Airport Operators have been advised to install self baggage drop facilities as per the availability of the space.
- Airlines have been advised to deploy sufficient manpower at all check-in/ baggage drop counters.
- Number of X- ray machines have been significantly increased at pre-embarkation security check points.
- Use of social media platforms to provide real- time updates to passengers to make airport transit seamless.
- Digi Yatra has been lauched in a phased manner at airports for seamless travel experience.
- Monitoring on daily basis at level of Airport operators, Airlines and Ministry of Civil Aviation for ensuring compliance of mitigation measures.
Shri Scindia also informed that the Ministry of Home Affairs/ Bureau of Immigration has been approached to ensure 100 per cent manning of the immigration counters. MHA/ CISF have also been actively persuaded for increasing the CISF deployment to man the sanctioned strength at the respective airports through capacity addition. The Airport Operators have also been asked to augment the immigration/ emigration counters and also security machines. Simultaneously, BoI and CISF have been requested to augment their manpower to man this enhanced infrastructure.
The Minister said that Digi Yatra has been launched at 13 airports, and since its launch, more than 91 lakh passengers have availed the facility of Digi Yatra to travel through the airports. Further, 14 more airports namely Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Dabolim, Mopa Goa, Indore, Bagdogra, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Nagpur, Patna, Raipur, Srinagar and Vishakhapatnam will be covered with Digi Yatra during 2024. Eventually, all the airports will be covered with Digi Yatra in a phased manner.
The Minister has been reviewing the mitigation measures on weekly basis with the identified Airport operators and BCAS, to avoid congestion at airports and is also monitoring the progress of critical infrastructure under-development at the major airports.
Shri Scindia said that with the introduction of 4th runway and Eastern Cross Taxiway and soon to be completed state-of-art T1 terminal building at Delhi Airport, commissioning of new T2 terminal with domestic and international operations at Bangalore airport, Expanded terminal building at Hyderabad airport, Restructuring of the Pre- embarkation security check area in Mumbai airport by addition of 03 more security lanes , soon to be completed new terminal building at Lucknow airport, it is expected that these airports will be able to handle more number of passengers efficiently and ensure comfortable, hassle- free travel by the passengers.
In near future, new terminal buildings with enhanced capacity are going to be operational at Guwahati and Patna Airports, which will boost the passenger handling capacity at these airports. Operationalization of new Greenfield Airports at Noida (Jewar) and Navi Mumbai airports would further complement the capacities of nearby Delhi and Mumbai airports respectively.