Passengers travelling from Mumbai airport’s newest terminal, T2, faced chaotic waits on Thursday following a snag in the server that controls the functioning of the boarding gates. While the check-in process and the baggage movement system, the other two departments that work on automation, were unaffected, the glitch left many fliers confused about the wait as they had cleared their security checks and the display screens indicated that the gates were open.
Although some flights were marked as ‘boarding’ on the display screens, their designated boarding gates did not open. “The first 2-3 operations soon after the glitch were extremely chaotic because boarding gates are manned by the airport staff. Once the problem was detected, the Mumbai International Airport Limited [MIAL] terminal staff asked us to verbally communicate the boarding gates assigned to us so that they could be operated manually,” said a senior official with a private airline.
“The access control system was down for a few hours. However, it was operated manually. This malfunction affected only 1 departing flight and 2 arrival flights,” said a MIAL spokesperson, adding that some flights were delayed by 10-15 minutes.
An airport source said the snag largely affected domestic flights as there are fewer international flights scheduled during the day.
T2 caters to three full-service airlines – Air India, Vistara and Jet Airways – which collectively cater to more than four of 10 domestic fliers in India, according to civil aviation ministry data.
“T2 is a silent terminal [there are no voice announcements and instructions to passengers are issued on display screens] and such snags make one feel anxious because there were no announcements and no one at the boarding gates to update us,” said a passenger.