At 4 airports, handbags to go tag-free

The Centre will do away with the stamping of hand baggage tags permanently at select airports in less than a week, after the successful trial at metro airports last year, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) Director-General Kumar Rajesh Chandra said.

“We had sought feedback from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and we have received the report. The trial was successful. We will do away with it permanently in a phased manner, in less than a week,” Mr. Chandra told The Hindu. To begin with, hand baggage will not need tags at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru as “exhaustive CCTV network” is in place, a top Civil Aviation Ministry official said.

All hand baggage pieces have had to carry a tag which is rubber-stamped by security personnel once they go through the security scanner at airports, since 1992.

CCTV to be repositioned

The CISF, which looks after security at airports, has highlighted logistics issues for implementing the move at other airports in its feedback to the BCAS. “There are many logistical issues that need to be ironed out. Before we make the airports tag-free, we need adequate security apparatus in place. We have given a positive feedback to BCAS but would like to take care of the security aspect first,” said a CISF official, on condition of anonymity. Another senior CISF official said the department was waiting for the airport operators to reposition CCTV cameras before the plan is made operational.

When contacted, CISF Director-General O.P. Singh said, “We are still looking at the proposal.”

Trial in 7 airports

In a bid to make travel hassle-free, the Centre decided to conduct a weekly trial of doing away with baggage tags at seven airports — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. The trial was replicated at seven more airports: Guwahati, Patna, Lucknow, Jaipur, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Nagpur.  Read More…

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