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CISF ends practice of removing prosthetic limbs for security check at airports

Passengers with disability will not be required to vacate their wheelchair for X-ray at airports. CISF personnel will now conduct these checks with a handheld detector.

delhi Updated: Oct 14, 2017 14:46 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,CISF,Airports
BCAS has also said that passenger with prosthetics or braces/support appliances should inform the concerned airline and must be accompanied by an airline representative, preferably of the same gender as the passenger.(Hindustan Times)

Passengers with disability will no longer have to remove their prosthetic limbs for X-ray screening at airports. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has decided to do away with the ‘humiliating’ practice across airports in the country. In addition, the CISF has also decided not to screen wheelchairs through X-ray as it causes inconvenience.

In both the cases, handheld explosive trace detector (ETD) will be used and only in rare cases, where security personnel feel the need, will they request passengers to remove the prosthetic.

On the request of CISF, Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) had constituted a committee which suggested alternate ways of screening. BCAS had also invited suggestions to prepare an SOP for frisking of such passengers.

“We have conducted various meetings and on Wednesday a final meeting was conducted with every stakeholder, including some disability right activists. BCAS has made necessary changes in the existing act and our job is to sensitize our personnel at the airport. CISF will issue dos and don’ts to facilitate passengers with disability,” OP Singh , DG CISF, said.

Earlier, passengers with disability had to remove their prosthetic limbs put it in the X-ray machine. Many passengers felt the procedure was humiliating. Rules also required passengers to vacate their wheelchair for screening by CISF.

“We have ETD at every airport and our staff will carry out the checks with it. Screening of prosthetic appliances covered with foam padding in which the steel rod is not visible, will include visual inspection, ETD checks and X-ray screening, if deemed necessary,” Singh said.

BCAS has also said that passenger with prosthetics or braces/support appliances should inform the concerned airline and must be accompanied by an airline representative, preferably of the same gender as the passenger.

“The objective is to ensure that there is no inconvenience to the passengers with prosthetic limbs in future, but without diluting the standards of security,” said a ministry official quoting the draft SOP.

The committee has suggested that if X-ray screening of the prosthetic limb is required, such passenger should be taken to a private screening point and made to sit comfortably for taking off his/her prosthetic limb. Disability rights activist had earlier asked the security agencies to follow the international security standard where they check such passengers ETD.

Past cases

October 2016: Two-time para-cycling Asian medallist Aditya Mehta wrote on Facebook post that CISF officials at Bengaluru airport made him “undo and redo” his prosthesis during the security check.

September 2015: An international para-athlete, Suvarna Raj, alleged harassment claiming she asked to get up from the wheelchair for security check at Delhi airport.

February 2014: A passenger, who was above knee amputee, was asked to remove his prosthetic limb at Delhi airport.)

October 2013: A 45-year-old finance professional was asked to strip waist down at Delhi airport for the security check.

July 2013: A 38-year-old marketing professional from Mumbai had to take off her prosthetic leg to be separately passed through security check.

First Published: Oct 13, 2017 12:11 IST