Jyotiraditya visits IGI’s Terminal 3 to see how things can be improved.

Update: 2022-12-12 19:06 GMT
Civil aviation minister Jyotiradityaa Scindia (ANI)

NEW DELHI: Facing a flood of complaints over mismanagement, chaos and
overcrowding at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday paid a visit to IGI’s Terminal 3 (T3) to see how things can be improved.

The minister spent about four hours at the airport, when he and his team studied
the situation and took a summary of the bottlenecks. The minister said while they will try to make things smoother, there will be no compromise on security and the CISF will provide an adequate amount of staff.

After his visit, the airports authorities have put in place an action plan whereby flights during the morning peak hour -- between 5 am to 9 am -- will be reduced and efforts will also be made to move some flights from T3 to T1 and T2, or to non-peak hours at T3.

The peak hours are from 5 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 8 pm. On an average, T3
handles around 1.90 lakh passengers and about 1,200 flights daily.

Besides, at the entry points, the digital display boards are being put up showing the wait time at each entry gate and one least wait time board at the terminal checkpoint will be placed. Civil aviation ministry officials said a command centre will monitor the crowding at the gates on a real-time basis. Besides, real-time updates on wait time will be posted on the social media.

“Today we have increased the number of entry gates from 14 to 16. There was a meeting with officials inside the airport where we decided that a board should be placed at every entry gate to display the waiting time before entry. This will help people reach the gate where there is minimum waiting time,” said Mr Scindia.

It has been decided that crowd managers and ushers will be placed at the airport to guide travellers. Airlines will notified of the crowd numbers, so that check-in points can be made congestion-free. At the check-in points, all airlines will keep all counters completely manned, especially in peak hours.

During the security check at T3 Domestic, additional ATRS (Automatic Tray Retrieval System) machines for baggage check will be deployed. Prior to Covid-19, the airport had 13 ATRS machines installed on the ground -- 11 for passengers and two for crew and the specially abled.

This number has been increased to 16 -- 10 ATRS and six conventional X-ray machines -- in the last few days, said officials. This will be increased further to 17 soon, and subsequently to 20, they added.

At the immigration counters, an analysis of the manpower requirements will be undertaken immediately, and if need be, additional manpower will be deployed, said officials.

Over the past few days, passengers have been complaining about long waiting hours at the airport on the social media. On December 7, Mr Scindia held a detailed discussion with the heads of all major Indian airports, CISF and immigration officials on the capacities deployed.

Following the meeting, a joint secretary from MoCA visited T3 and some changes were made to ease the chaos and crowd. Traffic marshals have been posted at the departure forecourt to avoid vehicular congestion.

There were 16 entry gates at T3 -- 14 for passengers and two for crew
– but now two additional gates have been opened, making it a total of
gates 18 (16 for passengers).

Awareness posters have also been put up at entry gates for passengers to be ready with boarding cards beforehand to save time during the check. Officials said there are dedicated resources deployed at the entry gates to usher passengers and apart from additional X-ray machines that have been installed in T3 Domestic, additional manpower has been deployed in the ATRS area to help passengers for tray preparation and congestion management.

Incoming international passengers are being encouraged to complete the Immigration Paper Landing Cards while on board. Manpower has been deployed at the disembarkation point to facilitate passengers who have not filled the papers on board for speedy completion before they reach the immigration counters.

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