As flights begin operations this Monday, passengers will no longer be required to get their tickets physically verified or go through frisking.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which handles security at all major airports in the country, has worked out a system of contactless ticket verification and security check where adequate distance between passengers and security personnel would be maintained at all times.
Now, there will be a glass partition at all airports between the CISF personnel and passengers at the gate. “The passengers will be required to show their tickets and IDs from across this barrier. At certain airports such as Hyderabad, technology is available for bar code reading or blowing up the ticket and ID on a screen through use of cameras. There even further distance can be maintained,” CISF DG Rajesh Ranjan told The Indian Express.
The other close contact routine followed by CISF personnel at airports is in the security hold area. “There also we will strive to ensure that in 99% of cases it is contactless and with minimal pat-down frisking. Even that will be done through handheld metal detectors. The general request is that passengers must divest all items from their body. If the door frame metal detector alarm goes off then, they will be asked to check themselves and divest items. If even after that there is a beep on HHMD or DFMD, then patdown will be resorted to. The personnel will have required protective gear such as face shield and gloves. There will be frequent sanitising of gloves and detectors,” Ranjan said.
Even the length of the metal dector has been increased so that CISF personnel do not need to come close to passengers.
Based on the force’s recommendations, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has already done away with the stamping of boarding passes after security check.
“Here cameras will be relied upon for backend verification of all passengers having gone through security checks,” a CISF officer said.
The CISF, in fact, has been preparing for full-scale operations for over a month now and has made multiple suggestions to BCAS and Civil Aviation Ministry. Most of these suggestions have been included in the guidelines issued by the ministry for operation of domestic flights, sources said.
“The operations at the airport had not come down to zero level anyway. As people were being evacuated from abroad or foreigners being facilitated on flights out of India, we were on the job. We used this time to prepare ourselves for full operations, so that we remain secure and ensure the safety of passengers also. Our endeavour will be to ensure that the passenger has a hassle free experience at the airport even as security is not compromised,” Ranjan said.
Apart from this, the CISF has passed orders for stocking of protective gear for three months in advance even as its suggestions on one metre distance marking in check in area, marking of square boxes for cars dropping passengers to the airport, reporting of passengers at airport two hours in advance, staggered flight schedules and sanitisation of all baggage are being implemented by airport and flight operators.
The force has till date reported around 98 cases of Covid 19 within its ranks including seven recoveries and one death. Most cases have been reported from Kolkata (40) and Delhi (32). It has among the lowest infections among paramilitary forces where numbers are now hovering at around 1000.
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