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CISF to end baggage tag stamping at six airports from June 1

Passengers at 6 more airports across the country will not have to get their hand baggage tags stamped. The CISF took the decision after trials showed more pieces of baggage could be checked if stamping is eliminated.

india Updated: May 29, 2017 17:01 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
CISF,Airport security,Hand baggage tags
File photo of a CISF man with sniffer dog at the Chennai International Airport. Chennai is among the six airports where passengers will not need to have their hand baggage tags stamped from June 1.(PTI)

Air travellers from Chennai, Patna, Guwahati, Trivandrum, Jaipur and Lucknow airports will not have to get their hand baggage tags stamped from June 1.

After a week-long trial in April during which they were able to check 8-10 more bags every 10 minutes, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has decided to permanently do away with stamping in these airports.

“Our analysis showed that during peak hours, we are able to scan 8-10 more baggage if there is no stamping. The trial run was successful, so we have decided to implement it from June 1,” CISF DG OP Singh said.

At Chennai airport, when stamping was in place, CISF was able to scan 50 pieces of baggage every 10 minutes which increased to 60 after stamping was removed. At other airports also, time was saved when stamping was removed.

In the first phase of the exercise in December, the CISF had started trial runs at seven metro airports before stamping was removed from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmadabad and Cochin airports.

“In the third phase, we have selected Pune, Goa, Bhubaneswar, Vishakhapatnam and Varanasi airport. The trial run will be conducted there, which will be followed by permanent implementation. More airports will be made stamping free in subsequent phases,” Singh added.

The CISF provides security to 59 airports.

Read more: CISF bans phones, use of toilets for its jawans at airports

During earlier trial run, CISF found that stamping of baggage tags could be dispensed with after certain modifications of security architecture in Security Hold Areas of the airports and installation of high definition CCTV cameras. These modifications were required to make sure that passengers could not access bags containing restricted items which are segregated by CISF personnel for checking.

“High Definition CCTV cameras focused on the baggage screening system were required so that CISF personnel who cleared a bag could be easily identified to fix accountability,” a CISF official said.

The CISF had collected the feedback during the one-week trial run. “In Bengaluru, 89% of the passengers appreciated the move, while 11% said that stamp on tag brings a sense of security. In Delhi, over 2,400 flights were covered and in some cases, during random check at boarding gates, few suspicious items were caught. We were required to fill the gap before reintroducing it,” the official added.

Often if a traveller is asked to open a bag after it goes through a scan, others in the queue have to wait till their tags can be stamped. “Now, if one passenger is stopped, others in the queue can move on to the boarding gate after security check. This will benefit the passengers and at no point, security will be compromised,” he said.

First Published: May 29, 2017 17:01 IST