International flight check-in may now be 24 hrs before departure
International passengers flying out of Delhi airport's new Terminal 3 might soon be allowed to check in 24 hours before departure. HT reportsdelhi Updated: Aug 03, 2010 00:18 IST
International passengers flying out of Delhi airport's new Terminal 3 might soon be allowed to check in 24 hours before departure.
The decision, by private airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL), comes a day after Hindustan Times reported that visitors and passengers reaching the airport before the check in time at the new terminal, have to pay Rs. 80 to enter the visitor’s lounge to use toilets or to even buy a bottle of water.
DIAL has also started installing vending machines, to dispense mineral water bottles. At the new terminal of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, there were no toilets or food and beverage outlets on the kerbside. Visitors arriving before time, had to pay Rs. 80 to enter the visitor’s lounge, that has these facilities.
“We want passengers to be allowed to enter the terminal 24 hours before departure,” said Andrew Harrison, Chief Operating Officer, DIAL. DIAL is discussing the issue with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), in-charge of airport security and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.
Harrison said passengers wouldn’t have to pay for these facilities because of this step. “The issue is being deliberated with security agencies. It is not the CISF's mandate to decide when a passenger enters the airport,” Harrison said.
“They will be monitored all the time inside the terminal and will not pose any danger to aviation security.”
As for visitors coming to see off or receive passengers, DIAL doesn't really want them to come. “We don’t want the terminal to be overburdened. There are people who will pay Rs. 80 and stay in the terminal for three days,” he said.
The shifting of domestic operations from terminals 1D and 1A to T3 might get delayed due to ongoing construction work and preparedness at the new terminal, Harrison hinted on Monday. “As of now, we would like to shift domestic operations by August 27 but the exact date will be confirmed after some time,” he said.
The biggest problem at T3 is that of baggage delays and the DIAL is blaming the shortage of ground handling staff for that. Baggage loading and unloading is done by ground handling agencies and airlines.
“The ground handlers don’t have the right number of staff to offload bags,” Harrison said. “It is incumbent on their (airlines') part to provide staff. Till this issue is resolved, there will be some problems.” Harrison also said that more signages and pre-paid taxi booths would be provided soon.
The check in process of passengers at T3 witnessed some technical glitches on Monday, some airlines alleged.
“The check in system, which is provided by DIAL, took a long time to process,” said an official of an international airline who didn't wish to be named. The Common User Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) is provided by DIAL.
A DIAL spokesman, however, claimed that there were no reports of such a problem.