Passengers flying from Delhi, India's busiest airport, will soon be able to eat their meals using stainless steel forks and knives instead of the plastic ones they are given right now.
They will also be able to get freshly-chopped salad and fresh food at the airport eateries, which till now came pre-cooked and sealed because knives, choppers and other sharp-edged kitchen cutlery are banned on the premises.
The Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the agency that formulate guidelines related to airport security, is exploring the possibility of the use of steel knives and forks at the restaurants of Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).
There are at least 100 eateries at the domestic and international terminal at the Delhi airport and they are forced to cook the food outside the airport and then bring it to the terminal. Also, even if they manage to cook some food inside, they are not allowed to give steel knives or forks to customers. With the passengers and restaurant owners raising such a demand, the BCAS had recently sent a team to a few foreign airports to see how they manage the issue.
"They have suggested that through a proper mechanism, use of knives and forks can be allowed. For this we need to number and count every knife and fork. Also, at the ladder point, a passenger will be frisked to check whether he/she is sneaking in a knife," said a senior BCAS official, requesting anonymity.
According to sources, steel knives were allowed at Delhi airport till 2010 but were banned during an inspection by the security team of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
"We have been receiving requests from the eateries and they have promised to follow the guidelines of numbering and keeping them in safe custody. We will also conduct surprise checks to make sure they are following the safety norms and ensure that it will not pose any security threat," the official said.