Encouraged by the success of its pilot project at seven major airports, the CISF has decided to replicate the temporary system of doing away with the security stamp on the hand baggage tag of fliers' at seven more airports in the country.
The CISF today reviewed the takeaways of the pilot project after Director General O P Singh met his security chiefs posted at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru, here and found that while at some airports the overall time in clearing a passenger was reduced, in some airports like Delhi it remained the same.
The project ended today at the first seven airports that were chosen.
Singh said that while the initiative was "quite successful" with minor issues, the force will now stop the project at these airports and start the regular drill of stamping.
At the same time it will begin this initiative at Guwahati, Patna, Lucknow, Jaipur, Trivandrum, Kochi and Nagpur airports now.
"It's a mixed bag...We found a majority of passengers favouring the doing away of stamping of the tag. Hence, to get a better sense of the maiden plan we are initiating it at seven other airports for a week begining December 26," he said.
The CISF DG added that he also took into account the views of his security chiefs at these airports and found that this project was doable.
CISF officials, after the meeting, said it was found in the feedback that while 20-25 seconds were saved per passenger at the Mumbai and Bengaluru airports after the bag tags were not stamped while at the Kolkata airport about 5 seconds were saved on one flier.
At the Delhi airport, the security agency could not see any reduction in time given the heavy load of fliers and less amount of space in the terminal (1D) area, they said.
The DG added that after the end of the second phase of the pilot at the seven new airports, the force may further conduct it at few other select such facilities in other parts fo the survey.
We are keeping two things in mind, that is, that the security is not compromised after doing away this practise and that fliers feel that they are having a better and hassle free movement before taking the aircraft, they said.
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As per rules now, a passenger flying to a destination, either within the country or abroad, has to get a security stamp on the tag put on his or her hand baggage, that they take with them in the aircraft.
The stamp ensures that the baggage has been thoroughly checked and is safe to be carried in the plane.
Central Industrial Security Force officials had said that with the increase of technology by way of scanning a bag through x-ray, CCTV and a trained CISF security personnel on the spot, such a tag is not anymore required and hence is being done away with by way of a pilot project.
Passengers had also made numerous complaints in the past not only with the CISF but also with airport authorities that in case a passenger forgets to get that stamp, he or she, irrespective of their age or medical condition, had to go back and get the authorisation embossed which was a time taking and nagging affair.
This issue, CISF officials said, had also led to altercations between security personnel and passengers and hence the force was wanting to do away with it.