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Indian airports to let passengers ‘keep their laptops in their bags’ during security checks!

Domestic and foreign airports are in dire need of modernization, notably those in New Delhi and Mumbai, which see a tonne of daily traffic. Although the government is stepping up efforts to reduce airport traffic, which has risen significantly over the last several weeks due to the Christmas season and the relaxation of travel restrictions, some antiquated security procedures continue to annoy both passengers and security staff.

But according to reports, one of the main security pain points is being addressed by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the organisation that oversees aviation security. The removal of gadgets from handbags during security checks, such as laptops and power banks, may soon become unnecessary for travellers.

The Hindu reports that BCAS will release ‘technical rules within a month’ to enable airports to upgrade to contemporary baggage screening technology without removing electronic gadgets. Zulfiquar Hasan, director general of BCAS, informed the newspaper of the development. A senior Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official is also quoted in the paper as saying that airports should use contemporary dual x-ray, computer tomography, and neutron beam technology to examine gadgets in hand luggage during the security check.

The top CISF official continues, ‘Faster throughput, more flight capacity per hour at airports, and improved technology will all contribute to the expansion of the aviation industry. This will also recover the cost of purchasing new equipment’.  The officer said that it is incorrect to place the responsibility on security because they are already working under tremendous strain and their line of work is a ‘zero mistake business’.

Currently, many airports employ x-ray devices that provide 2D pictures of scanned objects but occasionally fall short of providing a 360 degree view. Newer technologies, such computer tomography, can provide 3D pictures with higher resolution and offer better automatic explosive identification, according to the paper. Additionally, their rate of false alarms that eliminates the need to inspect a bag physically.

Due to a relaxation of travel restrictions and the holiday season, several airports in India have been experiencing heavy traffic in recent weeks. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) in Mumbai handled more than 1.50 lakh people in a single day, according to figures from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (December 10).

Passengers must thus wait hours for security and check-in. Also recommended by many airlines are arrival three hours before to departure and, if at all possible, refraining from carrying your primary luggage. The government has introduced a new service called Digi Yatra to reduce traffic and passenger transport. The service processes passenger data at several checkpoints using facial recognition technologies.


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