The confusion over stamping of hand baggage at seven airports of the country — including Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport — ended on Thursday, with the Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) stating that all cabin bags needed to be stamped.
The BCAS had issued a circular on February 24 saying that it has stopped stamping of baggage tags at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Cochin airports.
But the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which mans airports across the country, expressed its inability to implement the order. On Thursday, a joint meeting was held between ministers of state and officials of Union ministry of home affairs and Union ministry of civil aviation at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan to discuss the modalities of implementation of the order.
“The CISF had conducted trial runs in two phases at 12 airports and concluded that stamping of baggage tags could be done away with after certain modifications of security architecture in the security hold areas and installation of high definition CCTV cameras. CISF had also proposed that a committee comprising representatives of BCAS, CISF and airport operator should examine the suitability of implementing this scheme at each airport,” said a CISF spokesperson.
A similar exercise was to be conducted simultaneously at the remaining 52 airports under CISF cover for recommending modifications in the security architecture and CCTV systems so that the scheme could be implemented at these airports as well.
From December 26, the CISF started the one-week trial run again at seven different airports. “In Bengaluru, 89% of the passengers appreciated the move, while 11% said that stamp on tag is a sense of security for them. In Delhi, over 2,400 flights were covered and in some cases, during random check at boarding gates, a few suspicious items were caught. We have recommended some changes in the security structure and once the gap is filled, we will reintroduce the measure,” the CISF official said.