For the convenience of flyers, an inline baggage scanning system is finally being installed in the domestic section of Kolkata Airport.
This will end a wait of more than five years for a passenger amenity that is meant to be a basic feature of any modern airport terminal.
Work on this started last week, in check-in portal C of the terminal’s domestic area and will be extended to the remaining ones over the next couple of months. Airport officials said it would take about 15 days on an average to complete the installation in each portal.
Of the eight check-in portals within the terminal, five are assigned for domestic operations.
A separate inline baggage scanning system would be set up for out-of-gauge luggage, according to officials. The international section of the terminal, which already offers inline baggage scanning, will be upgraded to the new system.
Once the inline baggage screening system becomes operational, passengers using the domestic section need not queue up separately at X-ray kiosks to get their bags scanned before check-in.
In an automated system, a bag deposited at the check-in counter goes through X-ray machines on a conveyor belt. The belts are fitted with cameras and sensors that create images of the luggage with a barcode. The luggage is screened in a control room manned by trained personnel.
The out-of-gauge belt will ease the check-in hassles of passengers carrying golf clubs or other cargo that does not fit in the conveyor belt. Currently, any such item carried by a passenger has to be scanned and then carried to the baggage make-up area before it is sent to the aircraft.
The installation was to be completed by June but a delay in the arrival of equipment imported from the US forced a change in schedule.
Domestic airlines operating to and from Kolkata requested the airport authorities to start the process after Diwali to avoid chaos during the peak of holiday traffic.
Airport officials said work started in the domestic section first because the number of passengers it handles is far more compared to the international traffic.