The Central Industrial Security Force has asked airlines to cap the hand baggage limit at IGI airport to one piece per passenger, claiming its personnel were under pressure due to flyers carrying multiple bags and this was turning into a security concern.
Citing the findings of an internal survey at IGIA — which sees close to one lakh passengers daily — the force tasked with securing airports across India said flyers on average carry at least two pieces of hand baggage, excluding laptop bags and women’s handbags.
“People often complain of long queues at security check, so we reviewed the process. We found that non-adherence to the rule of one hand baggage per passenger by airline operators was resulting in obstruction at the baggage roller. The average comes to 1.8 baggage per passenger excluding laptop/handbag,” said a senior official.
As a result of this congestion, CISF personnel get little time for checks, the official said. “The ideal throughout rate of an X-ray machine is 300 bags an hour. But since passengers carry more baggage, the clearance rate almost doubles. This is a grave security risk.”
Under pressure to clear long queues, the CISF is taking just 5-7 seconds to clear each passenger instead of an ideal 20 seconds, according to the report.
An airline official, who refused to be identified, said a flyer was allowed 7kg of free hand baggage and if he distributed this weight in two to three bags, there was little action the airline could take.
The CISF had earlier too flagged concerns about operations at domestic terminal 1D — including a crippling staff shortage.