iconimg Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Faizan Haidar, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 18, 2014
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) — the country’s civil aviation regulator — has directed airlines to issue e-tickets in a uniform format to address security concerns and decrease waiting time at the entry gates at the airports. Central Industry Security Force personnel deployed at the entry gates have to spend considerable time locating the PNR number and departure details of the plane on e-tickets since they are printed in different formats for different airlines.

“We are working towards reducing the waiting time at the airport. It was observed that the entry gate is the first contact point of a passenger and long queues are common there. When we tried to identify the problem, our staff said that it takes time to locate the details of passengers in an e-ticket. The problem was discussed with the aviation regulator and it has agreed to convey our concerns to the airlines,” said a CISF official.

Ever since the security agencies have allowed passengers to enter airport by showing a soft copy of the e-ticket, the job of the gate staff has become all the more difficult.

Security men posted at the gate have to scan phones, tablets of passengers to verify details, along with checking ID proofs, which takes a lot of time.

“We are training our staff but a uniform format will help them to complete verification quickly,” the official said. He said it would also help in spotting fake tickets.

Last year, as many as 16 passengers were caught after they entered the terminal on fake e-tickets.

“However, in none of the cases there was a security threat to the airport but it showed the possibility of misuse. To stop this, we need to install PNR reader at the entry gate but it will help only if we get a common format e-tickets,” the official said.

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) handles almost one lakh passengers on a daily basis of which 50% of them go through the departure terminal.