Passengers flying from major Indian airports will have to take out their wallets, mobile phones, chargers and other electronic items from carry-on bags for separate screening.
Till now, only laptops and tablets were required to be kept in separate trays for screening at security but that is no longer the case.
According to Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials, while scanning handbags, the screen shows a lot of clutter inside it. This causes a lot of difficulty to the security personnel since they are not sure what is inside the bags.
In fact, in the past few days, security personnel have had to check oddly sized pens after cases of knives inside them had been reported. Also, people with gun licenses often bring bullets with them which has to be checked and removed manually.
The security personnel has to request the passenger to remove all electronic items if the security screen is not clear and if there is too much doubt, bags have to be checked manually, which slows down the processing time, leading to long queues.
The decision to remove all electronic items and wallets has been taken to speed up the handbag screening process without affecting the quality of checks.
The CISF will go ‘back to basics’, where they are going to put up a board at Pre-Embarkation Security Check (PESC) points reminding passengers to remove anything not allowed in aircraft that they may have forgotten by mistake in their handbags like scissors or knives.
Congestion at PESC is a major concern as most Indian airports since they have not added adequate infrastructure to support the 20 % growth in air passenger traffic in the past 4 years.
Since expanding existing terminals and building new airports takes years, aviation authorities are trying to incorporate technology to help Indian airports manage the growing traffic.
Airports Authority Of India(AAI) is looking into getting 3D luggage scanners which are currently being tested at the New York JFK and London Heathrow Airport. They don’t require passengers to take out laptops and other electronic items from the bags.