Plans Afoot To Decongest IGI Airport, After Scindia’s Surprise Visit
An action plan has been put in place by authorities to reduce peak hour congestion at Terminal 3 of IGI airport in New Delhi with Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia paying a surprise visit on Monday. He had taken stock of the situation on Wednesday last as well.
Officials said that changes have taken place at DIAL airport T3 in the last four days and these pertain to several areas including entry, security, and immigration process. They said real-time updates on wait time will be posted on social media.
Traffic marshals have been posted at the departure forecourt to avoid vehicular congestion, officials said.
The officials said there were 16 entry gates at T3 (14 for passengers and two for crew). Two additional gates have been opened up and now there is a total of 18 gates (16 for passengers + 2 for crew).
Awareness posters have been put up at the entry gate for passengers to be ready with boarding cards beforehand to save time during the check. Dedicated resources have been deployed at the entry gate to usher passengers.
In terms of security, an additional X-ray machine has been installed in T3’s domestic terminal. Additional manpower has been deployed in the ATRS (Automatic Tray Retrieval System) area to help passengers with tray preparation and congestion management.
Apart from awareness posters, mobile announcements are being undertaken to inform passengers about dos and don’ts.
In terms of the immigration process, incoming international passengers are being encouraged to complete the Immigration Paper Landing Cards while onboard.
Manpower has been deployed at the disembarkation point to facilitate passengers who have not filled the papers onboard for speedy completion before they reach the immigration counter.
About entry, officials also said that there are digital display boards showing wait time at each entry gate and one least wait time board at the terminal checkpoint. A Command Centre will monitor crowding at the gates in real-time.
Crowd managers and ushers will guide travelers.
The officials said airlines to be notified of the crowd numbers so that check-in points can be made congestion-free. “Real-time updates on wait time will be posted on social media,” an official said.
Referring to check-in points, officials said all airlines will keep their counters completely manned, especially during peak hours.
For security checks at the T3 domestic terminal, additional ATRS machines for baggage checks will be deployed. Pre-Covid-19, there were 13 such machines.
ATRS machines have been installed on the ground (11 for passengers + 2 for crew and the specially-abled). This number has been increased to 16 (10 ATRS + 6 conventional x-ray machines ) in the last few days. This will be increased further to 17 soon and subsequently to 20, they said.
Officials said an analysis of the manpower requirements at immigration counters will be undertaken immediately, and if need be, additional manpower will be deployed.
Besides these steps, flights during peak hours will be reduced between 5 am to 9 am.
The authorities will also explore moving some flights to T1 and T2 or non-peak hours at T3.
Scindia on Monday paid a surprise visit to the airport and inspected all the suspected congested areas and interacted with the airport staff.
Scindia in an exclusive interview with ANI noted that steps were being taken to ensure ease of travel for air passengers. There have been complaints on social media by air passengers experiencing overcrowding at the key terminus.
“Today we’ve increased the number of entry gates from 14 to 16. There was a meeting with officials inside the airport where we’ve decided that a signboard should be placed at every entry gate displaying the waiting time before entry,” Jyotiraditya Scindia told ANI.
“This will help people reach the gate where there is minimum waiting time,” he added.
The minister said a key decision was taken regarding the security process.
Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal was also present.
Scindia met officials regarding the airport congestion complaints and discussed steps to sort out the issue on December 7.
“The aviation industry was suffering massively due to Covid restrictions. Because of the recovery from this period, there is a lot of congestion at the airports,” he said. (ANI)
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