Removing e-devices from hand baggage for airport security to be a thing of the past

The aviation security watchdog has recommended the installation of advanced scanners for security at airports.

BySouth First Desk

Published Dec 21, 2022 | 7:17 PMUpdatedDec 21, 2022 | 7:17 PM

Airport security scanner

The tiresome task of removing all your electronic items for scanning at airport security will soon be a thing of the past.

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the airport and airline security watchdog, said on Wednesday, 21 December, that scanners based on what is called “computer tomography technology” would soon be installed at airports across the country.

With the use of this technology, passengers will not be required to remove electronic devices from their hand baggage before it is put through the security scanner.

At present, the scanners used at airports in India provide a two-dimensional view of the objects inside the baggage that is being scanned.

The computer tomography technology-based scanner, on the other hand, provides a three-dimensional view of the contents of the hand baggage.

“With such scanners, passengers will not be required to take out their electronic devices from hand baggage before going through the scanner,” said Jaideep Prasad, BCAS joint director general.

Details about the recommendation and when the new scanners would be purchased and installed could not be immediately ascertained.

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Speeding up security checks

The installation of such scanners is expected to also speed up the security check-in process at airports, where huge delays have come under severe criticism from the travelling public in recent weeks.

There have been complaints about congestion and long waiting hours at various airports, especially at the airport in the national capital. Authorities were forced to put in place various measures, and the congestion has eased somewhat.

The issue of airport security had featured in the Lok Sabha earlier this month, with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, under which BCAS operates, informing the House that strengthening of safety and security at airports was an ongoing process.

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Security systems are reviewed from time to time by the safety regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and security regulator BCAS, in consultation with the other concerned agencies and stakeholders, including Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and airport operators, depending upon threat perceptions, the House was told.

The ministry said some of the technologies deployed and proposed for deployment at sensitive airports include Computer Tomography Explosive Detection Systems (CT-EDS) machines and Dual Generator X-BIS machines.

“Direction has been issued for minimum technical specification for Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS). It has been installed at Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore airports… The Full Body Scanner at all airports is planned in a phased manner with all hypersensitive and sensitive airports on priority basis,” Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh told the Lok Sabha on 8 December.

India is one of the fastest-growing civil aviation markets globally and the country’s daily domestic air traffic has crossed four lakh passengers in recent days, and is now above the pre-pandemic level.

(With PTI inputs)