CISF wants airlines to enforce one handbag policy
New Delhi: Citing delays in security clearance and congestion at airports, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has sought instructions to airlines directing them to ensure passengers are only carrying one hand bag.
In a letter to the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), CISF inspector general Vijay Prakash has said carrying multiple bags is leading to increased time in security clearance at the airport, which in turn is leading to congestion.
“As per BCAS AVSEC Circular Nos. 06/2000 & Lt12000, no passenger should be permitted to carry more than one hand bag other than those items already listed in the circular, including lady’s bag. However, it has been seen that passenger on an average carry 02-03 Nos of hand bags to the screening point. This has led to increased clearance time as well as delays, congestion in PESC [Pre-embarkation security check] point and inconvenience to passengers. It is therefore felt that enforcement of the aforesaid Circulars must be ensured by all stakeholders / airlines,” the letter stated.
A senior CISF official who did not want to be named said, “Security clearance is delayed when passengers carry more than one hand bag. This results in congestion and also causes hindrance in security checks. Apart from the 11 items allowed to be carried besides one handbag by the BCAS, we have requested airlines to inform and restrict their passengers to rules.”
Another CISF official familiar with the matter said, “Some of the passengers seem to have forgotten the concept of ‘one hand bag’ and this letter is reiteration of what is already the rule. The list of items allowed apart from one hand bag includes readings materials, umbrellas, laptops and other few items that may have an urgent requirement. Earlier, when bag tags were mandatory, passengers could not take more than what is allowed, however, hand bags are no more controlled items and hence passengers have started taking more than allowed.”
The official added, “The moment you increase more than one hand bag, you increase the load of the screeners. Carrying more than the allowed number of hand bags puts pressure on the screening system and also causes trouble to passengers as it leads to delay.”
CISF asked BCAS to inform airlines to depute staff to guide passengers and verify the number of hand bags before allowing them for security checks. “All airlines may be directed suitably to inform pax [passengers] and to display ’one hand bag rule’ on their tickets / boarding passes very conspicuously,” the letter stated.
“Airport operators may be instructed to place hoarding / banner/ board / standees displaying the contents of the ‘One hand bag Rule’ near the the check-in counters, vantage locations before security hold area (SHA) at airports, so that passengers get sensitised and if required, have an option to switch their extra hand bags to registered baggage,” the letter concluded.