If the Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has its way, you may soon have to remove all items on your body other than your clothes -- shoes, metals, belts, jewellery, amulets etc -- before proceeding for security check.
The new security structure, though, is likely to increase the waiting time at the airport. Currently, passengers have to wait for approximately two-and-a-half minutes at the security hold area. Before passing through the metal detector, they are required to put mobile phones and other electronic items in a separate tray.
After that, they are frisked by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel. During peak hours, the whole process takes two to three minutes. But once the new plan is implemented, it is expected to increase to 10 minutes.
“We do not want any metal on a passenger’s body while he or she is passing through the metal detector. This will reduce the threat of a suicide bomber. A passenger might carry explosives inside his or her body or in shoes. If the metal detector sends out an alarm signal despite the passenger having removed all metallic objects, he/she automatically falls under suspicion,” a senior BCAS official said, requesting anonymity.
The proposed system is in place at several foreign airports and BCAS has sent a team to study it. A trial run was conducted recently, but the response was not good as proper infrastructure is required to implement the system.